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May 20, 2017

Philadelphia ranks as one of the worst cities for mosquitoes, report finds

Philadelphia, it's going to be a long summer.

Orkin, an Atlanta-based pest control company, released its list of the "Top 50 Mosquito Cities" earlier this month as the temperatures begin to climb and Philadelphia has found itself in a not-so-favorable spot.

The City of Brotherly Love was ranked No. 21 on the list, rising nine spots from last year.

Orkin compiled the list based on the number of customers – both commercial and residential - that called in mosquito-related complaints across the U.S. from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

Atlanta was the No. 1 worst place for the virus-carrying pest for the fourth year in a row while Washington D.C. and Chicago were found right behind the southern city.

“Mosquitoes are a public health threat,” said Orkin entomologist, Mark Beavers, Ph.D. in a news release. “Zika virus is currently one of the most notable illnesses that can be spread by mosquitoes, and it will likely be a problem again this year, especially in areas where the type of mosquito that can carry the virus thrives."

While the threat of contracting Zika in the U.S. remains small, mosquitoes are known for carrying many other diseases like malaria and the West Nile virus. There are about 2,000 cases of malaria reported annually in the U.S. while there have been about 44,000 reported cases of West Nile in the past 18 years, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

To protect oneself from any nasty viruses that mosquitoes could be carrying, the CDC recommends using insect repellent, wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants when possible as well using window or door screens to prevent mosquitoes from coming inside buildings. 

Orkin also recommends avoiding stagnant water, where mosquitoes can quickly breed, by circulating liquid in standing buckets or changing the water in bird baths. Mosquito season ranges from April to October, according to Orkin. 

Find the top 10 worst cities for mosquitoes below or see Orkin's complete list here.

1. Atlanta, Georgia

2. Washington, D.C.

3. Chicago, Illinois

4. New York, New York

5. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

6. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas

7. Houston, Texas

8. Detroit, Michigan

9. Charlotte, North Carolina

10. Nashville, Tennessee