Atlanta tops Orkin’s list of Top Mosquito Cities for the second year in a row. The list by the firm, coincidently based in Atlanta, ranks cities by the number of mosquito customers serviced in 2014. Nine cities in the Southeast are included in the Top 20 ranking, more than any other region:
3. Washington DC
6. Raleigh – Durham, N.C.
8. Dallas – Fort Worth
9. Charlotte, N.C.
10. Nashville, Tenn.
11. Memphis, Tenn.
12. Grand Rapids – Kalamazoo – Battle Creek, Mich.
13. Miami – Fort Lauderdale
14. Richmond – Petersburg, Va.
15. Minneapolis – St. Paul
16. New York
17. Cleveland – Akron
18. Greenville – Spartanburg, S.C., Asheville, N.C.
19. Albany – Schenectady – Troy, N.Y.
20. Knoxville, Tenn.
Meanwhile, Memphis, Tenn.-based Terminix came out with a list of its own. On Twitter, it searched through approximately 200 billion tweets posted in 2014 to determine which United States city is most pestered by mosquitoes. It analyzed 726,143 geo-tagged tweets shared between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2014, mentioning “mosquito” as a pest. Rankings were determined based on the number of tweets per capita in each given city, and only English-language tweets shared from the United States were evaluated. Terminix used Crimson Hexagon social media analytics software to collect this data from Twitter.
While large cities like New York and Chicago showed up most often in mosquito rants on Twitter, Terminix found that when evaluated fairly — per capita — it’s the smaller towns that are humming with complaints. The Top 10 cities with the most grumbling about mosquitoes on Twitter, per capita, are:
1. Goodland, Kan. 2. Safford, Ariz. 3. Bowling Green, Ohio 4. Petoskey, Mich. 5. Glenwood Springs, Colo. 6. Myrtle Beach, S.C. 7. Bemidji, Minn. 8. Shawnee, Okla. 9. Paragould, Ark. 10. London, Ky.
Mosquito bites can transmit West Nile virus (WNV) and other conditions that cause encephalitis (swelling of the brain), as well as a relatively new virus in the United States called chikungunya virus. Mosquitoes become infected with chikungunya virus when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.
In 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) upgraded chikungunya virus to a “nationally notifiable condition” in the United States, providing state and local health departments with standard definitions for reporting and tracking cases. So far this year, the more than 70 reported American cases of chikungunya virus occurred in travelers returning from the Caribbean and other affected areas outside the U.S. In 2014, more than 2,400 cases were reported in travelers and nearly a dozen locally transmitted cases were reported in Florida.
The two mosquito species that can spread the chikungunya virus, the Asian tiger and yellow fever mosquitoes, are common in the Southeast United States and parts of the Southwest. Unlike other species, these mosquitoes are active throughout the day, not just at dusk and dawn, and often live around buildings in urban areas.
Rollins, Orkin’s parent company, experienced an 8.6 percent increase in mosquito revenue from 2013 to 2014.
As for Terminix, other findings from its Twitter study include:
-- Based on the number of mentions alone, New York City would have earned the top spot. More than 11 percent of all tweets about mosquitoes as pests came from the Big Apple -- followed by Chicago (5.9%), Houston (4.3%), Los Angeles (3.5%) and Atlanta (2.9%). -- Top hashtags associated with mosquito mentions included #worldmalariaday, #itchy, #summer and #beer. -- Top words associated with mosquito mentions on Twitter included bite, kill, spray, hate and itch. -- According to the analysis, women are more vocal about their pest problems than men -- 62 percent of analyzed tweets came from women, and 38 percent came from men.