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News 2 looks into viewer's concern over mosquito spraying in Dorchester Co.

DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) - A Dorchester County resident said they noticed fewer toads, butterflies, frogs and bees in their area and asked News 2 to see if mosquito spraying is affecting their population.

"[I] always used to see a lot of different types of common things, the frogs, the toads, the butterflies, things like that and just really have not seen them and that's very odd," said Scott Hudson, who has lived in the area for about 12 years. "And I was just wondering if there is any type of relation to the spraying for the mosquitos."

In 2016, millions of bees were killed in the county because beekeepers were not warned before aerial spraying of mosquito pesticides was conducted.

Dorchester County Mosquito Abetment Coordinator Scott Gaskins said that now, the county is not conducting aerial spraying. Instead, the county sprays from trucks, at night when bees are less active, and officials say there have not been any reported issues

"I've never had any incidences with my trucks with spraying with the chemical that we use," said Gaskins. "Of killing any types of wildlife."

The county uses a product called Pursuit RTU 4-4 for ground spraying. It is a different chemical from the one used two years ago. Information about the chemical is listed on the county's website.

Michael Weyman, the Deputy Director of Regulatory Services at Clemson University told News 2 that sometimes there are issues with mosquito spraying but said it is unlikely that the toads and bugs were killed by it and said that Hudson's observation may be part of a natural cycle.

“It’s highly unlikely," said Weyman. "Nature doesn't operate within a vacuum. All of it is cyclical. We see this a lot with species of ants, we see it a tremendous amount with species of termites.”

He said that it is crucial to spray for mosquitos for public health reasons.

"We're still dealing with Zika, we worry about Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, these are very real and true threats to the human population," said Weyman.

Dorchester County has listed its mosquito spraying schedule on its website, which can be viewed by clicking here.

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