Where’s the greatest risk of a mosquito bite in Baltimore? A surprising answer

From The National Science Foundation
April 10, 2018

Where’s the greatest risk of a mosquito bite if you live in Baltimore, Maryland? Scientists studying Baltimore neighborhoods where residents have low, median or high incomes say that people are most at risk in areas with median incomes. Their results offer some intriguing reasons.

Southwest Baltimore’s ‘mosquito neighborhoods’

This week, ecologists report in the journal Parasites & Vectors that socioeconomic differences among Baltimore neighborhoods influence bite risk. Shannon LaDeau, a scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, and co-author of the paper, explains that “mosquitoes are a global threat to public health. We’re interested in knowing how urban landscape features and social patterns influence mosquito biting behavior.”

Understanding how neighborhoods regulate mosquito bites is key to managing diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, such as West Nile virus and Zika virus, according to LaDeau.

The study took place in five neighborhoods in southwest Baltimore. The sectors represented a socioeconomic range below, at or above the city’s median household income.

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