By VICKI BROWN
Mosquitoes are pests to Lowcountry residents who enjoy being outside during the summer months, and in preparing for warmer weather, Colleton County Mosquito Abatement is getting ready to launch its pest control efforts.
According to county officials, the mosquito control truck can come on your driveway and follow your driveway. Drivers are not permitted to leave the resident’s driveway.
Spraying is done after dark from 7:30-12:30 p.m. when temperatures are above 60 degrees, notraining and/or winds are below 10 mph.
The following areas cannot be sprayed: areas surrounding a pond; within 1/4-mile radius of a registered beehive; or unoccupied property.
Spray requests can be repeated after four weeks.
Spray requests for special occasions should be made at least one week prior to the event.
Residents must provide a street address, city, zip code and phone number with the request. Incomplete requests will not be honored. House numbers must be visible from the road in order for drivers to locate your address.
Animal Services does not spray for insects other than mosquitos, such as love bugs, white flies and deer flies. In addition to being annoying and uncomfortable, mosquito bites have the potential to spread disease and therefore can be a public health issue if not controlled.
The county provides this service to the public at no charge in order to decrease the population of mosquitoes.
The chemical used may or may not eliminate other insects but is harmful to bees. Residents with bee hives are asked to call 843-893-2651 to register with the Animal Services office so that spraying does not occur within one-quarter-of-a-mile of those hives.
While mosquitos are annoying, they can also be dangerous. The pesky insects are primarily known for transmitting Malaria. While the disease is not currently a threat in this country, one of the primary carriers of the disease parasite has not been eliminated. Anopheles quadrimaculatus (also known as the Common Malaria Mosquito) can be found throughout the southeastern United States.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in more recent years the West Nile virus, encephalitis, and dog heartworm, dengue fever, and chikungunya have emerged over the past couple of years as threats to human health in the United States, South America, and the Caribbean.
The West Nile Virus (WNV) is the number one mosquito-borne disease threat in the U.S. Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain and central nervous system and is characterized by a high to moderate mortality rate, with some survivors left with permanent physical and mental disabilities. In 47 out of 50 states West Nile virus infections were reported in people, birds, or mosquitoes in 2017.
The West Nile Virus is typically transmitted to humans by mosquitoes that have previously fed upon an infected bird. People affected by WNV will experience flu-like symptoms including fever, headache, nausea, muscle pain, and swollen lymph glands. Other symptoms may include a stiff neck, rash, sleepiness or disorientation. In severe cases, an individual can develop West Nile Encephalitis or Meningitis, which can lead to coma, tremors, convulsions, paralysis, and even death.
WNV can also affect horses and ultimately result in the animal being put down.
How to request mosquito spraying
The Colleton County Animal and Environmental Control is responsible for mosquito control and abatement in the county. Citizens may request for the county to spray to control the mosquito population. Spray requests for special occasions should be made at least 1 week prior to the event and spraying can be repeated after 4 weeks upon request.
Requests for spraying can be made using the online form below (preferred method) or by calling the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 am thru 5:00 pm.
At Edisto Island, residents should call Edisto Island Town Hall at (843) 514-8806.
The Form to request mosquito spray can be found at www.colletoncounty.org/mosquioto-spray-request.
Tip to protect your home from mosquitoes
Here are some helpful tips to protect your family and home from mosquitoes.
Get rid of all standing water in your outdoor spaces including plant saucers and dog bowls, as well as gutters.
Remove excess yard debris: grass, leaves, firewood, and grass-clippings.
Turn over yard items that could hold water, like buckets, portable sandboxes, plastic toys, or birdbaths.
Remove tarps over firewood, boats, or sports equipment if they hold water.
Treat mosquitoes around your home and yard.