This bites: DC ranks No. 3 for mosquitoes

Concern about murder hornets has made headlines recently, but it turns out the nation’s capital is already a hub for another deadly pest — mosquitoes.

D.C. ranked third on Orkin’s 2020 “Top Mosquito Cities List,” which is based on the number of customers served from April 1, 2019 to March 31 of this year.

The District has been named one of the four worst cities for mosquitoes for the past five years, according to Orkin’s list.

The area hasn’t seen too many of the deadly insects just yet, but that’s likely soon to change.

Mosquitoes become active once temperatures top 68 degrees, the pest control company said in a release. While cooler temperatures during early May kept the insects at bay, late-month warmth is sure to bring more of the bugs. Mosquito breeding season starts as early as May and lasts though September, according to Orkin.

The District’s not alone, as the list reveals other Mid-Atlantic cities that have mosquito problems.

Richmond ranked 14th on the list, Baltimore came in at No. 18 and Norfolk at No. 24.

Atlanta, the location of Orkin’s headquarters, topped the list for the seventh straight year and Los Angeles jumped 10 spots from last year to finish No. 2 on the list.

While the massive Japanese pest dubbed the Murder Hornet made headlines this spring, for now, experts say mosquitoes pose a greater threat. The insects carry diseases such as West Nile virus, Zika and malaria.

Orkin said in its release to avoid certain things that attract mosquitoes:

  • Standing water in bird baths, fountains, potted plants, wading pools and other children’s toys
  • Debris in gutters that provide moisture and places for mosquitoes to harbor
  • Overgrown shrubbery that provide dark, humid resting places
  • Torn or missing windows and door screens


Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

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