Insect Alert

Dallas feels bite of ranking among 10 worst U.S. cities for mosquitoes

Dallas feels bite of ranking among 10 worst U.S. cities for mosquitoes

mosquito west nile virus
Better grab some Off!, because it's that time of year again. Janos Csongor Kerekes/Getty Images

Folks who live in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas need swat teams — the kind that swat mosquitoes, not that respond to high-risk emergencies.

Dallas-Fort Worth appears at No. 6 and Houston at No. 7 on a new ranking of the worst U.S. metro areas for mosquitoes. Much further down on the 50-metro list are Austin at No. 37 and San Antonio at No. 39.

Pest control giant Orkin produced the list based on the number of mosquito treatments it provided to residential and business customers from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017. For the fourth year in a row, Atlanta tops the list.

“Mosquitoes are a public health threat,” Orkin entomologist Mark Beavers says. “Zika virus is currently one of the most notable illnesses that can be spread by mosquitoes, and it will likely be a problem again this year, especially in areas where the type of mosquito that can carry the virus thrives.”

Aside from Zika, mosquito-borne viruses include West Nile, chikungunya, and dengue.

Orkin says mosquitoes become more active as temperatures rise, with mosquito season typically running from April to October.

The Texas Department of State Health Service says it’s preparing for the transmission of the Zika virus throughout Texas during the 2017 mosquito season.

“Zika remains a significant health risk to pregnant women and their babies, and it’s only a matter of time until we see local transmission here again,” Dr. John Hellerstedt, the state health commissioner, said in April.

From January 1, 2015, through April 26, 2017, Texas reported 326 Zika cases, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).