Although mosquito season isn’t in full swing, many of us have already seen — and others of us have felt (Ouch!) — evidence of the pesky insects in our surroundings.
But there’s still time to take actions that will limit the mosquito population and the possible spread of mosquito-borne diseases in our communities this season, and it begins by cleaning up around your own home and yard.
One of the most effective things you can do is get rid of and prevent standing water. Here are some suggestions:
- Get rid of places where adult mosquitoes can find cool, dark and damp areas to rest by mowing the lawn, trimming shrubbery and cutting down weeds and vines, such as ivy, in the yard and next to the house.
- Clear out weeds, leaves, dirt and other debris from pipes, especially those under a driveway. Make sure water does not stand inside or near the ends of the pipe.
- Clean out rain gutters and downspouts regularly.
- Empty and turn over containers that hold water such as cans, jars, drums, bottles, flower pots, buckets, children’s toys, wheel barrows, old appliances, plastic sheeting or tarps used to cover objects like grills or swimming pools, etc.
- Drain or fill any low places, such as potholes, on your property where water collects and stands for more than five to seven days.
- Make sure that all permanent water containers such as wells, septic tanks, cisterns, water tanks and cesspools are tightly covered and insect-proof.
- Repair leaky pipes and outdoor faucets.
- Cover trash containers/garbage cans to keep rainwater from accumulating.
- Keep boats and canoes drained and covered/overturned. Make sure tarps or other covers do not hold water.
- Drain or get rid of old tires by recycling them.
- Pack tree holes and hollow stumps with sand or cement.
That’s just the beginning. There are a number of other steps you can take to defend yourselves against mosquitoes. To learn about treating standing water that can’t be drained and preventing mosquito bites, visit scdhec.gov/mosquitoes/eliminatebreedingareas.