HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Worldwide mosquito-related illnesses kill thousands of people every year according to a Smithsonian study. Mosquitoes kill around 750,000 people yearly, with majority of the deaths stemming from diseases they carry like malaria. The Horry County Mosquito Control Program is currently spraying to keep our area a little more safe.
Fortunately for Horry County, the recent drought has caused the mosquito number to significantly drop. And they say we're not as susceptible to mosquitoes as other nearby counties.
"You've got a little bit of salt marsh in Horry County," said James Brock, Manager of the Horry County Mosquito Control Program. "You've got the Murrells Inlet end, you've got what flows up through Garden City, Little River, North Myrtle. But we don't have the expanse amount like Georgetown and Charleston does. We have a little bit of hatch off from it."
Brock says that if you have the water, the salt marsh, and the mud, they'll breed in it. And he says Horry County Mosquito Control is currently spraying those hot spots to keep the numbers down.
Even though much of our area is in a drought, it only takes a small bucket of water to breed thousands of mosquitoes. Brock says although mosquito numbers are low, they are still spraying areas to keep those numbers down. They have a truck foggers and even aerial sprayers. But there are still some things you can look for in your own backyard to help stop mosquito breeding.
"It's as simple as dumping a bucket of water out that a home owner has that they don't realize is breeding," said Brock. "It could be a swimming pool that's unmaintained. We have seen them in pet dishes, tires, toys, buckets, tarps, boats, bird baths are really bad and reflecting pools are real bad."
By just looking out for stagnant water in your yard you can lower the risks that come with getting bit by a mosquito. Brock says to make sure your neighbor is also dumping stagnant water, because it can affect your whole neighborhood.
You can contact the Horry County Mosquito Control Program here.