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Hate mosquitoes? Here are a couple ways to stop them around the Grand Strand

A mosquito in Socastee on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. The mosquito was discovered after Terrill Mincey answered a mosquito problem call in the Horry County community. He found an abandoned mobile home that was surrounded by trash cans, pie pans, glasses, coolers and tubs all filled with water. Standing water is the breeding area for mosquitoes. He emptied the containers and will be spraying the area this week. Mincey is the mosquito control supervisor in the Horry County Stormwater Management department. Photo by Janet Blackmon Morgan / jblackmon@thesunnews.com
A mosquito in Socastee on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. The mosquito was discovered after Terrill Mincey answered a mosquito problem call in the Horry County community. He found an abandoned mobile home that was surrounded by trash cans, pie pans, glasses, coolers and tubs all filled with water. Standing water is the breeding area for mosquitoes. He emptied the containers and will be spraying the area this week. Mincey is the mosquito control supervisor in the Horry County Stormwater Management department. Photo by Janet Blackmon Morgan / jblackmon@thesunnews.com

An empty pot, drain pipe or swimming pool could be the future home to hundreds of mosquitoes. For Horry County, stopping mosquito population is a matter of public health.

James Brock, the supervisor of mosquito prevention for Horry County Stormwater department, said his office responds to requests from the public to inspect private property that is reported to have a mosquito problem.

While the county has means to fight mosquitoes, Brock said a lot of prevention is using common sense to determine if a pool of water could be a good breeding ground.

Walk around your property and look for standing bodies of water. It takes a few days for the water to become suitable for mosquitoes, it needs to be stagnant. Brock also said decaying plant matter helps attract mosquitoes too.

If you own a bird bath, for example, changing the water every three days to prevent mosquito growth. Or make sure your swimming pool is well maintained and operating properly.

A pool is an obvious place to look, but mosquitoes can nest in less open places. Brock said people should check at the edge of gutters or inside unused tires where water can pool up. Just because you can't see pooled up water, doesn't mean its not there.

Further, using too much water on the lawn or in the garden can allow for water pooling primed for mosquitoes to lay eggs.

While lakes or ponds are standing bodies of water, they are not as suitable for mosquito growth as fish and other animals can eat the larva.

Mosquitoes can carry Zika and West Nile viruses which are harmful to humans. Brock said other mosquito-born viruses can harm pets and livestock too. While it is impossible to stop every mosquito from breeding or completely rid an area of them, keeping the population under control could make a world of difference if an outbreak ever hits the area.

To request help dealing with a mosquito problem, the storm water department has an online forum to fill out an application.

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