Mosquito and insect season is here; make sure you're prepared

Source: dr_relling / Flickr
Source: dr_relling / Flickr

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Now that the sun's cooking, mosquitoes will be back bothering you. Stormwater Management has already been out fixing the problem.

Crews started spraying Monday and have already covered much of the county. They'll keep spraying Monday through Friday in the evenings from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m.

If you start to notice that you're getting bitten more than usual, look no further than your own yard. Mosquitoes don't fly far, so you can probably figure out where they're coming from.

If you have a water bowl that's been sitting out, or a bird bath, a boat cover or bucket of water that's been sitting out, that may be the culprit. Also check your clogged gutters and yard drains. Female mosquitoes lay eggs on standing water that has been dormant for about a week or longer.

There's actually a report from our region where a plastic grocery bag harbored 3,000 mosquito larvae.

Make sure you change the water in outside containers, or even flip them upside down if you aren't using them, so that water won't collect in them.

"Mosquitoes are going to be anywhere you live near water that doesn't move a lot," says Joey Davis, owner of AAA Pest Control. "So, if you're in the intracoastal waterway, not so much. But if you're on the marsh, with a lot of stagnant water, or drainage ditches, or you have a lot of trees, you're going to see more mosquitoes, because there's areas for the breed. Mosquitoes don't fly around in the heat. They don't like the heat of the sun, just like us. So during the day, they're hiding underneath these leaves waiting for things to cool off a little bit."

If a home is 20 years old or older, it's probably got a crawl space somewhere in the foundation. Insect control businesses say it's one area they see that people usually forget about. But the bugs get in there and make their home while staying completely out of the way.

Pes control companies are starting to get more calls now that it's warming up outside. Davis says you should check to make sure every crack in your home is sealed. Just wait for a windy day, light an incense stick, and wave it around your windows and doors.  If you see smoke coming or going, you know you've got a draft, and something that needs to be sealed. If you don't seal it, you could wind up with an insect problem.

If that happens, some people call pest control. Some try to fix it themselves, but you have to be careful. Davis says sometimes people call him because they didn't read the instructions properly and they end up getting sick or poisoning themselves, and in some cases, their pet.

More useful advice: don't use the same pesticide over and over again.

"Nature adapts," Davis says. "So, if you use the same thing over, and over and over again, the bugs in that area will adapt to that, they'll find a way around it. Or they'll fly, or jump, or crawl over it, or wait until it gets a little weak, and then get in the house anyways. By using a different pesticide or a different action, it keeps everything from being able to adjust, and it's much more effective."

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