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‘Skeeters’ bugging you? Take some precautions

Posted: November 2, 2015 5:55 p.m.
Updated: November 3, 2015 1:00 a.m.
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In the wake of recent flooding, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is urging residents to take steps to reduce breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

DHEC Public Information Director Jim Beasley suggested checking your property for any containers which could be holding rain or floodwater. Water in containers as small as a bottle cap can become active mosquito breeding sites in as few as five days, Beasley said in a DHEC press release.

Beasley suggested emptying out any containers which are holding water -- such as pool covers, boat covers, tires, pots, pet bowls, toys, etc. -- and remove debris from gutters to help discourage a larger mosquito population from growing. He also suggested trimming back thick shrubbery and overgrown grass on your property.

To protect yourself outdoors, Beasley suggested wearing light-colored long sleeves and pants, and wearing insect repellant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a Web-based tool to help find the right repellant for you. Go to www2.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-insect-repellent-right-you.

For protection indoors, Beasley said repairing damaged or broken door and screens can prevent mosquitoes from entering buildings.

He said residents should contact their local city or county mosquito control program. However, according to a list of mosquito control programs, there are no municipal or county programs in Kershaw County.

Kershaw County Clemson Extension Service Agent Deon Legette there are no agents in Kershaw County who deal with what is known as “vector control” of mosquitoes. Legette referred questions to Richland County Extension Service Entomologist Tim Davis.

Davis also said the best prevention is controlling breeding sites by getting rid of standing water.

“I’m not surprised you’re seeing large numbers of mosquitoes,” Davis said. “The weather’s been good for it. Cooler weather should help.”

The DHEC website refers mosquito control questions to its regional office in Sumter at (803) 778-6548. Beasley said there are also private operators available to control major mosquito problems in those areas which do not have access to municipal or county programs.

“Each of us can be proactive in reducing the mosquito population and preventing disease transmission by regularly eliminating breeding areas and standing water on our properties,” Beasley said in the press release.

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