Charleston County going ‘full blast’ on mosquito control

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 5:34 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2022 at 5:43 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - “A perfect storm” of high rainfall and high tide events is creating high mosquito levels in Charleston County.

A dry start to spring and summer meant that there were few mosquitoes, but high tides and a lot of rainfall are increasing mosquito activity in the area.

Ed Harne, a taxonomist with Charleston County Mosquito Control, says we’re just now getting to a normal mosquito season, with hot temperatures and a lot of rainfall. They expected to be at this point in June, but they weren’t because it was so dry.

“When we have dry conditions, there are still a few mosquitos out there, but it’s nothing like it’s been in the last couple of weeks when we’ve had both very high tides and a lot of rainfall,” Harne said.

Harne says mosquito eggs are laid in two ways. First, they’re laid on standing water in places like ditches or containers like bird baths. The second way is through eggs already in dry areas that are then flooded by rain or high tide.

Charleston County officials say last week they received 275 mosquito control requests, and 330 so far in July. For the whole month of June, they received 245 requests.

Harne says they’re now going “full blast” on ground and air operations, surveillance, and treatment. But Harne says people at home can help their neighborhood fight mosquito infestations.

“Anything that can hold water can really breed a lot of mosquitos and really infest your whole neighborhood, so we just ask folks to please either dump those items out, drain them, or turn them over or get rid of them and that really can help us to control the mosquito population,” Harne said.

The county says ground and aerial crews have been working “around the clock,” but the weather has slowed them down at times.

Charleston County posted more information on how to “fight the bite” on its website.

To contact Charleston County Mosquito Control, call 843-202-7880.

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