Mosquito control tackles booming population of biters - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Mosquito control tackles booming population of biters

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Each year, Charleston County's Mosquito Control Division treats over 200,000 acres by aircraft and 800,000 acres through ground spraying. Each year, Charleston County's Mosquito Control Division treats over 200,000 acres by aircraft and 800,000 acres through ground spraying.

Charleston County mosquito patrol reports some 68 species of mosquitoes, and a wet start to the summer left behind plenty of breeding grounds for the biters.

The week of June 23-29 is  National Mosquito Control Awareness Week by the American Mosquito Control Association, though the population doesn't spike until August and September.

Each year, Charleston County's Mosquito Control Division treats over 200,000 acres by aircraft and 800,000 acres through ground spraying.

"The first thing we need to know is where mosquitoes breed and how they live their life cycles," Odom said. "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."

 

Experts say homeowners can help manage the bug population by:

-Every three days, flush birdbaths, potted plant saucers and other containers that hold  water

-Keep 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

The young mosquitoes, or larvae, cannot live and become adult mosquitoes without water. So the key is to get rid of the containers that hold water around homes, yards, schools and businesses.

"In fact, container-breeding mosquitoes generate up to 30% of the requests for service our Division receives each year," Odom said. "Of these mosquitoes, the Tiger mosquito is a significant pest and can carry the West Nile virus."

 MOSQUITO FACTS:

A mosquito's life revolves around water; a female mosquito lays her eggs in water or in areas expected to flood.

Once they hatch, a larvae mosquito must remain in water until it emerges as an adult approximately one to two weeks later.

Mosquitoes can become infected with the West Nile Virus when they feed on infected birds.

Mosquitoes can transmit heartworm disease from an infected dog or cat to a healthy dog or cat.

Mosquitoes beat their wings 300-600 times per second, making the mosquito buzz sound. 

To request service or to get information on Charleston County Mosquito Control activities, call (843) 202-7880 or visit http://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/PublicWorks/publicWorkServiceRequest.asp.

 

For information on educational programs and presentations available from Charleston County Mosquito Control, call (843) 202-7886.

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