DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Dorchester County will begin work next week to control the mosquito population for the summer.

The first treatment, which includes ground spraying, will tentatively begin the week of May 23 in the Dorchester and Ashley Phosphate Road area.

County leaders say the spraying will happen between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Residents are encouraged to locate their zone via the Mosquito Abatement Map that subdivides the County into fifty (50) spray zones

“Each zone has its own map printed with detailed street information. The County may change the boundary of these zones from time to time to provide for more efficient mosquito abatement spraying,” said county leaders. “Ground spraying may also be canceled or postponed due to poor weather conditions or other issues that limit the ability to spray.”

Dorchester County residents can review the bi-weekly spray schedule, which is updated every two weeks while spraying is ongoing. You can also request ground spraying through the online request form.

Mosquito bites can cause itchy bumps, but they can also spread diseases. The most common diseases that could potentially be carried by mosquitoes in South Carolina include: West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, La Crosse Encephalitis, Saint Louis Encephalitis, and dog/cat heartworms

Some tips to avoid the itchy bites this summer are:

•             Keep your yard clean and mowed

•             Fix leaking faucets

•             Keep gutters clean

•             Empty any containers that hold water, such as cans, bottles, and potted plant saucers

•             Fill tree holes

•             Remove old tires

•             Maintain swimming pools

•             Change water in birdbaths twice a week

•             Stay indoors at dawn, dusk, and early evening

•             Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants when outside

•             Avoid perfumes or other scented products

•             Apply insect repellent to exposed skin and follow directions

•             Install screens on any open windows

Dorchester County operates a Mosquito Control Program to protect its citizens from the spread of mosquito-borne diseases by spraying pesticides (insecticides), applying larvicide to low-lying areas, and educating its citizens on reducing the conditions that foster increases in the mosquito population.