Mosquito season is officially here

Mosquito season

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - That pesky time of year is here: mosquitoes are starting to pop up in Horry County, and Terrill Mincey with Horry County's Mosquito Control division says mosquito season is underway.

Mincey says over the last few weeks, the Grand Strand area has seen higher temperatures and more rainfall. The mix has made the environment just right, and locals are now dealing with the first bug spike so far this year.

The Horry County Mosquito Control office uses a large chunk of its $700,000 budget every year to treat and kill off mosquitoes. Mincey says his department uses drive-by spraying and aerial spraying to kill off the bugs.

So far, the office has used the drive-by method to treat public areas like parks, but have not started aerial spraying yet. Mincey predicts that will probably start within the next few weeks.

Mincey says standing water is a major culprit for breeding mosquitoes. At this time, the control office is concentrating on the treatment of underground drainage sites that have small pools of stagnant water.

Over the next week, they will treat 6,000 different locations in the county with a 150-day larvicide. It's a method the office started using four years ago, and Mincey says so far it's been a big help in controlling the bug population.

People can also help in the prevention of mosquitoes from taking over the yard by removing standing water.

"Check around your house, check for your ditches. Check to see if there's any way you can make your ditches flow. Anything as small as an 16-ounce cup in your yard can hold hundreds of mosquito larvae," says Mincey.

If mosquitoes are bugging Horry County citizens, the department does have a mosquito complaint hotline. The number is 843-915-5174. Mincey says complaints help his team office determine which areas need treatment.

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