Is there any scientific definition or evidence of such a thing as the mosquito line?
My first apartment in Manhattan was on the 25th floor of the Park Row building in the Financial District. The broker assured me I could keep the windows open because we were "above the mosquito line."
This was untrue, and mosquitos would regularly enter the apartment if the window was left open.
I later found out that many New Yorkers believed that they lived above or below "the mosquito line", and a search of Google reveals several casual mentions of a delineation above which there are no mosquitos.
I found a mention of "the mosquito line" in the transcript of the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth where Al Gore states definitively:
"There are cities that were founded because they were just above the mosquito line. Nairobi is one. Harare is another. There are plenty of others. Now the mosquitoes with warming are climbing to higher altitudes."
Bjørn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and critic of An Inconvenient Truth dedicates a fact checking page to Al Gore's mention of a "mosquito line" where he states that he had found no official definition for the term:
There seems to exist no official definition of what is meant by a "mosquito line". You might compare with the term "tree line", which is a line above which no trees can grow. By analogy, you would assume that a "mosquito line" is a line above which no mosquitoes can live. But this interpretation would not fit in relation to malaria in Kenya. Instead, you would have to understand the term as a line above which malaria is not present every year, but only in certain years, when epidemics occur.
Lomberg then proposes a definition of the term as it relates to climate, and seems to give Al Gore the benefit of the doubt:
Nairobi is situated at 1660 m and thus may be said to be just above the line delimitating the zones of regular occurrence. The coldest month, July, has average maximum temperatures of 20.6° C, i.e. temperatures less than optimal for the P. falciparum parasite. Thus, it is true that Nairobi is just inside the zone where malaria occurs only as epidemics, not as a permanent or seasonal penomenon. If this is what is understood by "the mosquito line", Al Gore is approximately right.
There are no doubt altitudes above which mosquitos or any living thing would not survive - and there are climates in which mosquitos do not thrive.
Presumably New York apartment brokers and their customers imagine the "mosquito line" as a limitation on how high a mosquito can fly - because New York City is at sea level.
But is there anything in the literature that would suggest that there is, in fact, a "mosquito line"?