Special Report

The Places With the Worst Mosquitoes This Year

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For most of us, mosquitoes are just an annoyance — the little black things buzzing around us on our morning walk, the high-pitched whine in our ear when we’re trying to get to sleep. In reality, though, they’re a lot worse than merely annoying. 

There are over 3,500 species of these “little flies” (which is what “mosquito” literally means in Spanish) of the family Culicidae, and some species are among the deadliest creatures on Earth, spreading such diseases as malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya fever, eastern equine encephalitis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile, and Zika — some of which can sometimes be fatal. Some 725,000 people worldwide die of mosquito-borne illnesses every year. In comparison, deadly snakes are practically benign, claiming only about 138,000 lives. (But see these 10 surprising benefits of mosquitoes.)

Mosquitoes are a particular problem in sub-Saharan Africa, where 90% of the world’s malaria deaths occur, and in South America (especially Brazil) and Southeast Asia. The good news for the United States is that there are only about 200 types of mosquito in the country and its territories, of which only about a dozen can infect people. The rest are considered nuisance mosquitoes. 

The problem is, of course, that unless you’re an eagle-eyed entomologist, you won’t know which mosquitoes are which when one bites you. What’s more, with climate change, mosquitos are a growing nuisance. (Mosquitoes aren’t the only insects to watch out for. Here are some other dangerous bug bites to watch out for in summer.)

Even the nuisance mosquitos, though, are…well, a nuisance, leaving you with itchy bumps. It’s best to avoid the little flies entirely if possible, and that’s easier in some parts of the country than others.

To determine the worst counties for mosquitoes, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the report “2023’s Most Vulnerable Counties for Mosquito-Borne Diseases” by Pest Gnome, a site connecting users with pest-control experts. Drawing on sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others, the site rated 800 U.S. counties on 12 metrics in four categories: mosquito prevalence, disease prevalence, mosquito-friendly climate, and mosquito control. To see Pet Gnome’s full methodology click here. We listed the 40 most vulnerable counties — those with the highest overall scores (out of 100).

Click here to see the worst counties for mosquitoes in 2023.

With the exception of two counties in New England, one in the Midwest, and one in the West, all of the 40 most vulnerable counties are in the South. Texas has the most, with 15, followed closely by Florida, with 12. 

40. Hockley County, Texas
> Overall score: 30.80
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #34 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #161 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #208 out of 800 counties

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39. Palm Beach County, Florida
> Overall score: 30.83
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #62 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #224 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #8 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #751 out of 800 counties

38. Angelina County, Texas
> Overall score: 30.90
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #30 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #325 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #141 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #441 out of 800 counties

37. Pike County, Kentucky
> Overall score: 30.92
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #198 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #42 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #236 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #277 out of 800 counties

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36. St. Johns County, Florida
> Overall score: 30.92
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #69 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #735 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #53 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #628 out of 800 counties

35. Nueces County, Texas
> Overall score: 30.98
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #15 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #204 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #86 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #677 out of 800 counties

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34. Volusia County, Florida
> Overall score: 30.99
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #66 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #325 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #43 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #681 out of 800 counties

33. Lubbock County, Texas
> Overall score: 31.00
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #17 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #182 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #118 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #596 out of 800 counties

32. Bee County, Texas
> Overall score: 31.00
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #34 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #145 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #147 out of 800 counties

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31. Bay County, Florida
> Overall score: 31.01
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #72 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #61 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #560 out of 800 counties

30. Hillsborough County, Florida
> Overall score: 31.03
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #62 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #11 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #741 out of 800 counties

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29. Uvalde County, Texas
> Overall score: 31.08
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #34 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #135 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #208 out of 800 counties

28. Plymouth County, Massachusetts
> Overall score: 31.11
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #432 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #7 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #503 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #647 out of 800 counties

27. Waller County, Texas
> Overall score: 31.19
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #34 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #82 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #604 out of 800 counties

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26. Hendry County, Florida
> Overall score: 31.22
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #74 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #68 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #299 out of 800 counties

25. Wichita County, Texas
> Overall score: 31.23
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #26 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #100 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #531 out of 800 counties

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24. Ascension Parish, Louisiana
> Overall score: 31.29
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #97 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #735 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #2 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #404 out of 800 counties

23. Colorado County, Texas
> Overall score: 31.31
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #34 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #114 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #356 out of 800 counties

22. Holmes County, Ohio
> Overall score: 31.33
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #252 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #3 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #659 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #147 out of 800 counties

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21. Merrimack County, New Hampshire
> Overall score: 31.47
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #639 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #3 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #533 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #404 out of 800 counties

20. Charlotte County, Florida
> Overall score: 31.57
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #69 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #37 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #596 out of 800 counties

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19. Jackson County, North Carolina
> Overall score: 31.69
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #198 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #5 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #538 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #208 out of 800 counties

18. Escambia County, Florida
> Overall score: 31.86
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #68 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #26 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #591 out of 800 counties

17. Aiken County, South Carolina
> Overall score: 31.99
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #140 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #28 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #286 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #552 out of 800 counties

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16. Martin County, Florida
> Overall score: 32.02
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #69 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #23 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #566 out of 800 counties

15. Wharton County, Texas
> Overall score: 32.06
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #34 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #60 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #321 out of 800 counties

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14. Santa Rosa County, Florida
> Overall score: 32.10
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #72 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #25 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #516 out of 800 counties

13. Miami-Dade County, Florida
> Overall score: 32.12
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #60 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #149 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #1 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #745 out of 800 counties

12. Collier County, Florida
> Overall score: 32.20
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #67 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #178 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #6 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #661 out of 800 counties

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11. Orange County, Texas
> Overall score: 32.20
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #34 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #325 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #46 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #441 out of 800 counties

10. Camden County, Georgia
> Overall score: 32.36
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #121 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #32 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #303 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #338 out of 800 counties

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9. Galveston County, Texas
> Overall score: 32.40
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #13 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #224 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #39 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #583 out of 800 counties

8. Cameron County, Texas
> Overall score: 32.58
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #13 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #224 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #24 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #634 out of 800 counties

7. Knox County, Tennessee
> Overall score: 32.62
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #739 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #5 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #85 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #689 out of 800 counties

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6. Jefferson County, Texas
> Overall score: 32.74
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #18 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #421 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #27 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #534 out of 800 counties

5. Liberty County, Georgia
> Overall score: 32.82
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #121 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #32 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #262 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #356 out of 800 counties

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4. Brazoria County, Texas
> Overall score: 32.94
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #15 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #276 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #15 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #566 out of 800 counties

3. Buncombe County, North Carolina
> Overall score: 33.22
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #181 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #2 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #547 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #496 out of 800 counties

2. Maricopa County, Arizona
> Overall score: 34.17
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #596 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #1 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #505 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #771 out of 800 counties

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1. Pitt County, North Carolina
> Overall score: 34.44
> Mosquito prevalence rank: #186 out of 800 counties
> Disease prevalence rank: #32 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito-friendly climate rank: #52 out of 800 counties
> Mosquito control rank: #434 out of 800 counties

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