Rain and flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew left many areas of South Carolina saturated with standing water — prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are cold-blooded and do not thrive in cooler temperatures, so cold snaps in the weather can help reduce the likelihood of excessive mosquito breeding. But don’t leave it to chance; do your part to reduce mosquito populations and lessen the chance of your family being exposed to these pesky, and potentially harmful, insects.
This isn’t just about the bothersome itch a mosquito’s bite might cause; the insect can carry harmful diseases, including Zika, West Nile and more.
Rid your home of places where mosquitoes breed
Mosquitoes breed in standing water. One of the most important steps in controlling them is to identify all of the places where water can accumulate on your property and eliminate them as possible breeding grounds.
- 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.
- Remove debris from gutters.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fix leaky pipes and outdoor faucets.
- Cover trash containers/garbage cans to keep rainwater from accumulating.
- Keep boats and canoes drained and covered/overturned.
- Drain or get rid of old tires by recycling them.
- Pack tree holes and hollow stumps with sand or cement.
Avoid mosquito bites and possible exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses.
- Apply EPA-approved insect repellent to protect you during time spent outdoors.
- Repair damaged or broken doors and screens.
- Wear light-colored clothes with long sleeves and long pants.
- Close garage doors at night.
If you have mosquito problems in your area, visit DHEC’s mosquito information page and click on “Local Mosquito Control” in the menu box for a list of local mosquito control agency contacts.
Learn more about eliminating mosquito breeding sites and preventing mosquito bites at the DHEC website.