HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - It's the end of July and we still have a few months to deal with pesky mosquito bites, but it could get worse since the chemicals Horry County uses to control the insects is running low.
The county supervisor for the mosquito control program, Terrill Mincey, tells WMBF News the season started early with rainy conditions in May, June and July leading to the large mosquito population.
"Our chemical budget was anywhere from $120,000 to $150,000 a year to buy chemicals. Our whole program is $500,000 and we've just about gone through all that this year," explains Mincey.
Control officers have been spraying from their trucks, and also using aerial means to get the insects under control. The Waccamaw River is receding, after weeks of flooding so mosquitoes are moving to smaller pools in wooded areas to breed.
Mincey said they're going to do what they can to continue to spray. "We aren't just doing this to be doing it. We do it for health purposes. Mosquitoes carry diseases. That's the only reason we spray and have the program to prevent mosquito born diseases."
James Holbert is a Conway resident who believes the county program to spray mosquitoes has helped over the years. "I grew up on the Waccamaw River back up in the swamps. They (mosquitoes) were really bad there just might have picked up and fly off with you those days."
Holbert said he isn't too concerned if Horry County runs out of chemicals, but others Elizabeth Tyrkala, of Myrtle Beach, admits the news has her worried. "That's not good with summer just starting. We have all August and September to go."
Mincey said mosquitoes will still breed in the county until the first frost, which is sometime after September.