GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – For the past 6 years, the city of Greenville has been included on a list ranking the worst U.S. cities for mosquitoes. In 2014, Greenville-Spartanburg was ranked #18 on the list but since then descended to take the #27 spot for 2020.
The list ranks the cities by the amount of mosquito customers served from April 1 of last year to Mar. 31, 2020.
According to experts, mosquitoes become active when overnight temperatures reach 68 degrees, which for many cities, happens in May. The NOAA predicts slightly higher excessive heat for the Upstate within the next few days, which is prime mosquito weather.
Not only are mosquitoes annoying to many, but they are potentially dangerous because they carry blood borne diseases. Research released by the CDC, shows that West Nile virus is the most common disease transmitted by mosquitoes, along with Dengue.
Rita Blackwell, mosquito specialist and owner at Mosquito Joe of Spartanburg, said standing water attracts mosquitoes and allows them to breed hundreds of eggs. Blackwell urges homeowners to empty out anything in their yard that could potentially collect standing water- such as toys and planter drip trays.
“This year particularly has been very challenging due to the weather. We had those floods and there’s nothing you can do when it’s flooding with the amount of standing water left behind. It seems to rain everyday which creates more standing water and it creates a challenge,” Blackwell said.
Additional circumstances that attract mosquitoes:
- Blood Type: Research has found that people with Type O blood are twice as attractive to mosquitoes than those with Type A blood.
- Beer: Researchers found that mosquitoes land on beer drinkers significantly more than their non-beer drinking counterparts.
- Sweat: Mosquitoes can smell the lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia and other compounds emitted in sweat, making you more attractive.
Tips to prevent mosquitoes:
- Wear long sleeved, neutral colored clothing
- When outside, use a fan with high wind to keep mosquitoes away. Keep doors closed, install a screen door and use an air conditioner indoors.
- Insect repellant, mosquito nets
- Empty outdoor items capable of collecting standing water
- Coconut Oil
- Spray clothing or camping tents with permethrin