Richmond one of the worst mosquito cities - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Richmond one of the worst mosquito cities

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Mosquitos carry West Nile Virus and other diseases. They kill 750,000 people a year. On the list of the worst cities for mosquitos, Richmond comes in at number 10. Humid weather and the recent rain create the perfect breeding ground.

"Pretty typical area for mosquitoes," said mosquito expert Mike McLean. 

It's going to be hot and humid this summer. Throw in this week's rain and expect mosquitoes to make a comeback. The James River is the main reason Richmond ranks high among cities with the worst mosquitoes.

What makes some people more attractive to the insects? The Smithsonian has a list of why mosquitoes love on some people.

Number one is beer. The little biters like it, even if you drink just one bottle.

"Your skin kind of will give off some ethanol, it will kind of come out of your pores," McLean said. 

The beer also raises body heat, just like number two -- exercise. 

"The buildup of that lactic acid in your system will act as a really nice attractant to mosquitoes," McLean said.

Number three is pregnant women. They have higher body heat and they exhale 21 percent more carbon dioxide.

Number four is blood type.

"So if you have type O blood, you're probably twice as likely to get bit as if you have type A. If you have type B blood, it's somewhere in the middle," McLean said. 

And number five is wearing darker colors. Blue, black, and red are mosquito magnets.

"What I've always thought is that mosquitoes are looking for a dark shape that's moving around as the sun's going down," McLean said.

To protect yourself, McLean said, "If you are out in the evening, just make sure you wear a good bug repellant. Make sure that you wear something long, light and loose."

Or simply avoid going out in the evening.

Tampa, Fla., is listed as the city, with the worst mosquito problem, followed by New Orleans. Virginia Beach ranks fourth

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