If you’re not one with a passion for mosquitoes, you’d better stay out of Atlanta. In fact, for the fifth year in a row, the Atlanta area tops Orkin’s Top 50 Mosquito Cities list. Dallas; New York City; Washington, D.C; and Chicago are all good places to avoid, too.

Dallas jumped four spots from last year’s annual list, and the Lone Star State holds the most spots on this year’s list with seven cities. Florida and Louisiana each have four cities each on the list.

If part of your job is to manage such pests, Orkin offers some advice for doing so. Per its report, the pest control company says to eliminate mosquito-friendly conditions on the exteriors of residences and buildings, in landscaped areas and around campuses.

Any object that has the potential to hold water should be removed or cleaned out frequently, as mosquitoes can breed in just an inch of standing water.

Gutters need to be cleaned to avoid rainwater buildup, and facility managers should check for puddles that form on the roof from rain water, leaking pipes or even condensation from air conditioners. Also, change water weekly in bird baths, fountains, potted plants and any containers that hold standing water.

Keep pool water treated and circulating, and trim shrubbery since adult mosquitoes like to rest in dark areas with high humidity, such as under the leaves of lush vegetation.

Eliminate entry points

Orkin also recommends the inspection of doors and windows for drafts or openings around perimeters and window air-conditioning units and installing weather stripping around doors and utilize caulk around window frames.

Ensure, too, that window screens are securely in place and free of holes or tears. Doors should be kept tightly closed.

Beating the bugs

To manage these little suckers, Terminix offers some useful tips and tricks to beat the bugs:

  • Maintain good sanitation around building structures and customer areas by eliminating areas with standing water.
  • Minimize the number of stored and decorative items that can catch and hold water in and around the structure.
  • Clean debris from gutters, and check for standing water on flat roofs of commercial buildings
  • If your property features decorative ponds with fish, consider including fish such as the Gambusia affinis, which will eat mosquito larvae.
  • Neatly trim bushes and other vegetation that can serve as a resting place for mosquitoes. Pest control professionals may also be able to make a topical application for control on landscaping.

Eliminating standing water is the most important thing to reduce mosquitoes. This gets rid of places where mosquitoes breed. Mosquito eggs hatch into larvae (wrigglers) and mature to adults in about a week in less than a cup of water.

Additionally, don’t dispose of soda cans, bottles, or cups with ice or water into garbage or recycling. Pour the liquids into the sink first.

Put a lid on garbage cans. Flush all sinks, floor drains and cup sinks twice a week from May until November.

Use a larvicide in areas where standing water cannot be eliminated. Fish can also be used in ponds to eat the larvae.

When is mosquito season?

Mosquito season starts when spring temperatures arrive, and they are most active in temperatures above 80 degrees. Breeding season is usually July through September.

Peak West Nile virus season is usually not until late August through September or even October in some areas. Temperatures need to be around freezing before mosquitoes will start to die off for the winter.

One of the best strategies for eliminating mosquito-borne diseases is to reduce populations of the mosquitoes that spread them.