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San Francisco Ranked Among Worst For Mosquitoes: Orkin

Patch logo Patch 5/13/2020 Bea Karnes
a yellow sunset: These are the worst U.S. cities for mosquitoes in 2020, according to a new ranking by Orkin. © Shutterstock These are the worst U.S. cities for mosquitoes in 2020, according to a new ranking by Orkin.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — California is beginning to loosen stay-at-home orders amid the new coronavirus pandemic. Still, backyards are likely to be busier than ever this summer as Americans take it upon themselves to remain socially distant.

While there aren’t many downsides to spending time in your backyard, where you can sunbathe without judgment and sip on your favorite drink, there is one pesky problem the outdoors can pose — mosquitoes.

Pest control company Orkin recently released its annual list of Top 50 Mosquito Cities, and where you live can play a role in how much backyard time you’ll spend swatting mosquitoes away and dousing yourself in bug spray.

San Francisco wasn't even on the list year, but in 2020 it's at No. 36, just behind Kansas City and ahead of Burlington, NY.

To determine this year’s ranking, Orkin looked at the number of mosquito customers served from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020. The list includes both residential and commercial treatments.

For the seventh consecutive year, Atlanta is rated as the worst city in the United States for mosquitoes. Coming in second is Los Angeles, which made a 10-spot jump from 2019.

Three new cities broke into the list this year as being among the worst for mosquitoes. In addition to San Francisco, there's Birmingham, Alabama and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Orkin this year is also teaming up with the American Red Cross to help with blood donation efforts. Learn more about what the company is doing and see the full ranking on Orkin’s website.

Mosquitoes typically become active when temperatures are above 68 degrees Fahrenheit overnight, and breeding season can start as early as May and last through September.

The Climate Prediction Center for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting above-average temperatures across the country this spring, as well as above-average precipitation in the central and eastern United States, which can indicate an earlier start to the mosquito season.

Mosquitoes can carry vector-borne diseases such as West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Zika. These can be contracted by humans and pets.

Consider reducing or eliminating conditions that attract mosquitoes, and be sure to wear insect repellent to help protect yourself from bites. Things that attract mosquitoes include:

  • Standing water in bird baths, fountains, potted plants, wading pools and other children’s toys.
  • Debris in gutters that provide moisture and harborage.
  • Overgrown shrubbery that affords dark, humid resting places.
  • Torn or missing window and door screens.

— Patch editors Megan VerHelst and Bea Karnes contributed to this story

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