Vector Control has begun its annual campaign to control mosquitoes around Richland County.
Crews are conducting surveillance for mosquito populations, treating larval breeding sites and spraying for adult mosquitoes in urban areas of the County (outside Columbia city limits), as well as in more densely populated rural areas.
Truck spraying for adult mosquitoes will usually occur between midnight and dawn. However, spraying is possible at dusk in rural areas of the County. When a spray truck is nearby, residents should remain indoors to allow the driver to thoroughly cover the area.
In July 2019, County staff conducting routine tests found cases of West Nile Virus, a disease primarily transmitted by mosquitoes, in the Forest Acres and St. Andrews areas. The County has taken preventive measures to suppress mosquito activity in those communities.
To date, there is no evidence that mosquitoes can transmit the coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Residents can help reduce the number of mosquitoes around their homes by emptying, overturning or removing water-holding containers. Tires, cans, bottles, flower pots and the like can be breeding grounds for the pests.
“Try to think like a mosquito,” said Tammy Brewer, Vector Control manager. “Do a hunt throughout your property. If there is water that a mosquito can access, then she can lay eggs and breed more mosquitoes.”
Vector Control urges the following measures to help prevent mosquitoes from spreading:
- Use EPA-registered insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon or eucalyptus, according to label instructions
- Clear drainage ditches of debris and weeds
- Pack tree holes with sand
- Clean clogged roof gutters
- Change the water in pet dishes, birdbaths and containers used to root plants at least weekly
- Maintain swimming pools properly
- Keep boats overturned, drained or covered, and be sure covers do not collect water
- Stock ornamental ponds (water gardens) with top-feeding minnows
- Ensure rain barrels have screens to prevent mosquitoes from accessing the collected water, and don’t allow water to linger in rain barrels
Richland County residents with questions or problems with mosquitoes can reach Vector Control at 803-929-6000. Beekeepers and people allergic to the products resmethrin, prallethrin, sumithrin and permethrin should also call this number.
Residents inside the Columbia city limits should call 803-545-4229.
Lexington County residents who live inside the town limits of Batesburg-Leesville should call the Town Hall at 803-532-4601. All other Lexington County residents should call 803-785-8440.