County hopes educating public will keep mosquito population down - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

County hopes educating public will keep mosquito population down

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- While Summer may bring barbeques, nice weather, and long nights, it also brings a pest that we just can't hide from. The American Mosquito Control Association has named June 22 through June 28 National Mosquito Control Awareness Week.

Charleston County officials say this week is all about educating the public on the importance of mosquito spraying and ways people can reduce the number of mosquitoes in their own backyard.  

“We will give people information on the mosquito life cycle and tips on how to eliminate mosquito egg-laying sites around their homes in order to help reduce the number of mosquitoes in their neighborhoods," said Mike Huggins, Operations Foreman for Charleston County’s Mosquito Control Division.

Charleston County Parks and local libraries will have brochures with more information on squashing the skeeter population.

“The first thing we need to know is where mosquitoes breed and how they live their life cycles,” said Donna Odom, Charleston County Mosquito Control Manager. “Mosquitoes carry diseases including West Nile virus, dengue fever, malaria, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, and heartworms. The public has to be an integral part of our fight against mosquito-borne diseases.”

Odom said that standing water is vital to the spread of mosquitos and "container breeding" bugs make up 30 percent of the calls they get requesting service.

The Charleston County Mosquito Control Divisions says they treat more than 800,000 acres through ground spraying and more 200,000 acres by aircraft.

During this week, on Wednesday June 25 and Thursday June 26, Joint Base Charleston will be spraying for mosquitoes. The aerial spraying will take place two hours before sunset and 30 minuets after sunset. 

The base cautions anyone sensitive to mosquito spray to remain indoors and for all beekeepers to take precaution during the application.

“All of these treatments will reduce the number of young aquatic stage mosquitoes, but there will still be some adult mosquitoes flying around,” Odom said. “For the adult mosquitoes, Charleston County Mosquito Control uses spray machines on trucks to spray at night. Charleston County Mosquito Control also uses aerial treatment as needed.”

The Charleston County Mosquito Control Division had the following tips on ways to reduce mosquitoes:
  • Every three days, flush birdbaths, potted plant saucers and other containers that hold water
  • Keep your yard clean and cut
  • Remove items from yard that hold water and are not needed outside
  • Keep lawn and gardening equipment indoors
  • Fix leaky faucets
  • Keep gutters clean
  • Fill in tree holes with sand or concrete
  • Change pet water dishes regularly
  • Chlorinate pools and clean the pool and filters
  • Add fish to ponds


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