SAN ANTONIO – Aug. 20 is World Mosquito Day. It's not exactly a day to celebrate one of the world's deadliest creatures; it's a day aimed at bringing awareness to the dangers they pose.
It's actually a commemoration of the day in 1897 that a British doctor, Sir Ronald Ross, discovered that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans.
According to the latest available statistics from the World Health Organization, there were 219 million malaria cases across the world in 2017. The disease was responsible for 435,000 deaths that year, making mosquitoes one of, if not the deadliest animal in the world.
While relatively few cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States each year, mosquitoes do spread other diseases here.
West Nile virus is the most common virus spread by mosquitoes in the continental U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mosquitoes spread a number of diseases including La Crosse encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, dengue, Zika and chikungunya.
So where does San Antonio rank on the list of the country's most infested cities?
According to the pest control company Terminix, San Antonio comes in at No. 17. The company based the rankings on number of mosquito services last year. San Antonio has ranked as high as No. 3 in recent years. This year, we were out-ranked by Dallas-Fort Worth (No. 2) and Houston (No. 3) in Texas. It's one of the rare times we will gladly cede a title to them.
Here is the full list of Terminix's Top 50 Mosquito Cities in the U.S.: