It’s National Mosquito Control Awareness Week (June 24-30), which is a good time to educate residents about mosquitoes and the diseases they carry and to urge everyone to do their part by protecting themselves and their homes from the potential spread of mosquito-borne illnesses.
Local governments and residents themselves provide the first line of defense. Be vigilant about protecting yourself from mosquito bites and ridding your homes and yards of containers where mosquitoes breed.
Get rid of and prevent standing water:
- 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 that water does not stand inside or near the ends of the pipe.
- Clean out rain gutters and downspouts regularly. Clogged gutters are one of the most overlooked breeding sites for mosquitoes around homes.
- 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.
Wear insect repellent or protective clothing.
When used as directed, insect repellent is the best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Use a repellent that includes one of the following:
- DEET: Products containing DEET include Cutter, OFF!, Skintastic.
- Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin): Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan outside the United States).
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD: Repel contains OLE.
- IR3535: Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.
- Visit DHEC’s mosquito page at www.scdhec.gov/Mosquitoes.
- To learn more about West Nile, visit www.scdhec.gov/westnile.
- To learn more about Zika, visit www.scdhec.gov/Zika or cdc.gov/Zika.
- Click here to learn about other diseases mosquitoes can spread.
- To view a list of local mosquito control programs in South Carolina, visit scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Insects/Mosquitoes/LocalMosquitoControl.
- Residents play a key role in mosquito control and prevention. Click here to learn more about how you can protect yourself and your home from mosquitoes.