Report Reveals Most Mosquito-Prone States in the U.S. in 2023
Report: America’s Mosquito Hotspots Ranked
Americans are gearing up for summer fun in the great outdoors. However, with warmer weather comes the pesky problem of mosquitoes. These tiny, buzzing insects can put a damper on any outdoor activity, from backyard barbecues to cross-country vacations. But not all areas of the United States are equally affected by mosquitoes. To help you prepare for mosquito season, we’ve compiled a state-by-state ranking of mosquito hotspots across the country. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, this list can help you plan ahead and take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites this summer.
When it comes to dealing with mosquitoes, some states in the U.S. have it worse than others.
Louisiana takes the cake as the most mosquito-prone state. The Bayou State’s hot and humid summers provide the perfect breeding ground for these pesky insects. In 2022, the average temperature from May-July was 81.3°F. Additionally, the state’s high average summer rainfall and variety of mosquito species make it an ideal place for mosquitoes to breed and thrive.
Florida is well-known for its beautiful beaches, warm weather, and a plethora of outdoor activities. Unfortunately, it also has a reputation for being one of the most mosquito-infested states in the country. The state’s high average rainfall and warm temperatures provide an ideal environment for the insect, landing the Sunshine State in second place.
#3 South Dakota
Despite not having a hot and humid climate like Louisiana and Florida, South Dakota ranks as the third most mosquito-prone state. In 2022, the state experienced a high rate of West Nile virus cases. Additionally, more than 40 species of the insect live in the state. It’s important for residents and visitors alike to take precautions against mosquitoes in the summer months.
#4 New York
Similar to South Dakota, The Empire State’s high number of West Nile cases and overall mosquito species, along with its average summertime rainfall, helped earn it the fourth spot. This shows that it’s not only places known for their hot and humid climates year round (like Louisiana and Florida) that deal with these pesky insects in excess.
Texas, the second largest state in the U.S, is known for its warm weather and diverse terrain. Its humid climate, especially during the summer months, provides a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. The state also has a high number of mosquito species. These factors make Texas a prime location for mosquitoes to thrive, which is why it ranks fifth on the list of the most mosquito-prone states in the nation.
The least mosquito-prone states are mainly out West or in some of the Northern states including Michigan, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon. It makes sense that some of the states with drier climates have fewer of these bugs that thrive around water.
The ranking of most and least mosquito-prone states was determined by a 100-point scale based on average summer temperature, rainfall, number of mosquito species, West Nile cases, and Google searches per 100,000 people relating to mosquito prevention.
It may not be a surprise to see Louisiana and Florida holding the top two spots due to their warm, humid climates, but South Dakota's position at number three may raise some eyebrows.
South Dakota's high number of West Nile cases, Google searches, and average summer temperature pushed the state up to the third spot on the list.
The fourth and fifth spots on the list are held by New York and Texas. Delaware and Nebraska both tied for sixth place. Several Southern states complete the top 10 with Georgia at 7th, Alabama in 8th, North Dakota and South Carolina tied for 9th, and North Carolina, Kentucky, and Mississippi at number 10.
While some parts of the U.S. are plagued by mosquitoes, other regions are much less prone to these pesky insects. Michigan tops the list of states where people can enjoy the outdoors without having to constantly swat away mosquitoes. Michigan earned this title based on its mild summer temperatures, low summer rainfall, a limited number of mosquito species, and lack of West Nile cases throughout the state.
The second least mosquito-prone state is Nevada. Despite the high summer heat, the state’s low rainfall makes it a less attractive environment for mosquitoes. Washington and Oregon tie for third place, followed by Utah, Idaho, Alaska, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. While these states still have some mosquito activity, their overall scores suggest that they are less affected by mosquitoes than other parts of the country.
While some states are more prone to mosquitoes than others, we also wanted to find out where people are the most and least concerned about the pesky insect. To do so, we analyzed Google search data in the 30 most populated cities in the country related to mosquito prevention.
Whether they’re searching for things like “mosquito bite antidote” or “mosquito spray,” people in Baltimore are the most concerned about mosquitoes across the U.S. Baltimoreans are followed by residents of Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Denver, and Seattle.
As for the cities least concerned about mosquitoes, New Yorkers rank #1. Whether it's because of their thick skin or because they’re dealing with other things (i.e. rats!) they are not bothered by mosquitoes. New York is followed by Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, and San Antonio. These cities may not have as high a prevalence of mosquitoes or may have a lower risk of mosquito-borne illnesses, leading to less concern about prevention measures.
Regardless of where you live, it's important to take steps to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses this summer. This can include wearing protective clothing or using mosquito repellent. We hope you enjoy the summer months with limited mosquito encounters!
To determine our ranking, we compared every state across five key metrics: average summer temperature, average summertime rainfall, number of mosquito species, West Nile cases in 2022, and Google search data about mosquito prevention per 100,000. We graded each metric on a 20-point score. To determine an overall score, each city’s weighted average was calculated across all metrics. Hawaii was not included in the analysis due to a lack of data.
In order to determine the number of Google searches, we analyzed 2,153 Google search terms relating to mosquito prevention from March-September 2022. We looked at the average number of monthly searches and compared it to each state and major city’s population, per 100,000 residents.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Population Review, and Google Ads.
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