This Popular City Has Been Named The Most Mosquito-Infested In The US

Mosquitoes can make a wilderness hike or a trip to a theme park a miserable experience. Unfortunately, according to a New York Times report, mosquito populations are growing around the world. Insecticides are no longer as effective at keeping the buzzing biters under control, and mosquito-borne viruses are spreading to new territories.

This is true even in the United States, where mosquitoes are on the rise, leading to the return of locally transmitted malaria in 2023 for the first time in 20 years. However, not all parts of the U.S. are equally affected. Pest control company Orkin ranked the cities where mosquitoes pose the biggest threat based on local demand for mosquito control services. Taking the top spot for three years in a row, from 2021 to 2023, is Los Angeles, California.

The SoCal city has risen in the ranks over the years. In 2018, Los Angeles only reached the 16th spot on the Orkin list and rose to number 12 by 2019. Just one year later, the metropolitan jumped 10 spots to second place in the top 50 list.

Why are there so many mosquitoes in LA?

Mosquitoes have clearly become more of a nuisance in Los Angeles in recent years. As the Los Angeles Times reported in 2023, mosquito populations were booming even in September, when they usually begin to taper off for the year. That month, three to seven times the five-year average of female Aedes mosquitoes (also known as "ankle biters") were recorded in traps in and around LA. Danny Bui, a longtime inspector with the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District, told ABC7, "When it comes to adult activity with ankle biters, this is the worst I've ever seen." Culex mosquitoes were also found to be much more prevalent by September than usual.

Rainfall is one factor when it comes to mosquitoes. During 2023, Tropical Storm Hilary was thought to have created the perfect environment for the annoying insects to thrive, as they need standing water (such as the rainwater left behind in small pools or outdoor plant pots) to lay their eggs. The Water Education Foundation also points to climate change, noting that hotter, longer summers in Southern California are appealing to the bloodsuckers, including species that originally thrived in hot and humid spots in Asia and Africa.

The pests are becoming a growing concern for both LA residents and tourists visiting the area, but according to the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, the situation can improve over time, particularly if people work to eliminate stagnant water.

Other U.S. locales with the worst mosquito infestations

Despite how bad LA's mosquito situation seems, no other California city placed in Orkin's top 10 worst mosquito cities for 2023 (San Francisco was the next to be ranked, at number 16). Following the SoCal destination was Chicago, Illinois in second place, and New York City in third place.

Atlanta came in fourth place in Orkin's 2023 list. According to the pest control company's data, this is an improvement for the Georgia capital, which topped the list for seven years straight until it was overtaken by LA in 2021.

As for the worst states for mosquito infestations, Texas appears to be a strong contender. Two cities in the Lone Star State made the top 10: Dallas/Fort Worth at number five and Houston at number nine. Other Texas spots highlighted by Orkin include San Antonio at number 39 and Austin at number 46.