Miami-Dade County

South Florida has a ton of mosquitoes (duh). But it isn’t No. 1

How Zika spreads (and who’s to blame)

The mosquito kills nearly 750,000 people each year. Malaria is the cause for the majority of these deaths, but a Zika outbreak has the Americas scared of this insect. This is how the insect spreads disease to its victims.
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The mosquito kills nearly 750,000 people each year. Malaria is the cause for the majority of these deaths, but a Zika outbreak has the Americas scared of this insect. This is how the insect spreads disease to its victims.

It’ll come as no surprise to any South Floridian to hear the region is one of the nation’s top spots for mosquitoes. What is surprising — the area is only No. 5.

Thanks to the region’s high-profile (and likely continuing) entanglement with Zika, bloodsuckers were elevated from annoying pest to deadly disease carriers for Floridians. This didn’t go unnoticed by pest company Orkin, who moved the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area up eight spots on the 50-city list and into the top ten.

Now the area is ranked 5, snugly between New York at No. 4 and Dallas/Fort Worth at No. 6.

The company came up with the list based on metro areas with the most mosquito customers served from last April through March of 2017, both residential and commercial.

The rankings were released the same week Miami-Dade County began aerial spraying for the incoming mosquito season, according to Miami Herald news partner CBS4. The spray targeted black salt marsh mosquitoes, but Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control Operations Manager Chalmers Vasquez said it would likely catch the ZIka-carrying mosquitoes — Aedes Aegypti — as well.

Orkin also pushed a list of mosquito control tips that anyone who has heard from Miami-Dade health officials recently could probably recite in their sleep. The pest control company urges homeowners to remove standing water, wear protective clothing and load up on bugspray with DEET or picaridin.

Top 10 Orkin Mosquito Cities

1. Atlanta

2. Washington, D.C.

3. Chicago

4. New York

5. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

6. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas

7. Houston

8. Detroit

9. Charlotte, N.C.

10. Nashville, Tenn.

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