Berkeley County trying to fight mosquitos, and they need your help

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) — The Zika virus is not active in the US, but the threat remains. One South Carolina patient was infected, but that patient contracted the virus outside of the state. Nevertheless, DHEC is recommending that everyone do what they can to fight mosquitos, which can carry Zika.

“We have about 60 different species of mosquito in Berkeley County. Each one of them occupies it’s own environmental niche. So we have a tough time battling them all.” Jeff Cary manages mosquito abatement for Berkeley County.

He says the county is putting more resources toward fight mosquitos due to the threat of the Zika virus. “We have amped up our response. We’ve bought some additional equipment, some hand held sprayers to treat infested areas that are populated with these container breeders.”

“The mosquitos that are implicated in the Zika virus are what we call ‘container breeders’. They like containers, whether they are tires, flowerpots, bird baths. That’s where they lay their eggs.”

There are a number of things you can do to lower your chances of being bitten by mosquitos. “Make sure (you) are wearing light colored long sleeves, and use insect repellant.”

They also recommend emptying anything that holds standing water, like flowerpots, bird baths or old swimming pools.

On Wednesday, Cary was at the Williamsburg airport in Kingstree, helping to calibrate mosquito-spraying aircraft. He said with rising mosquito numbers, “simple ground control no longer will reduce the population to acceptable levels. At that point, we have to put aircraft up to spray.”

But still, the most effective thing you can do is watch that standing water.

Cary recommends that you walk around your property once per week looking for standing water to cut back on mosquitos.

You can also call Berkeley County Mosquito Abatement, and have them stop by your house to assess any problem areas. (843) 719-4646 is their number.

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