Another mild winter means another difficult mosquito season! And to top it off South Carolina has 61 different species of mosquitos. I'm itching just thinking about it!
Those itchy bumps from mosquito bites can be more than just a nuisance. Mosquitoes can carry diseases. The most common diseases in South Carolina are West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, La Crosse Encephalitis, Saint Louis Encephalitis, and mosquitos carry heart worms that can infect your dog or cat. The Zika Virus, though there have been no cases in Calhoun County, is transmitted by mosquitoes as well.
Controlling the mosquito population is the key to controlling the possibility of an outbreak of any of these diseases. In Calhoun County, our Animal Control has responsibility for spraying for mosquitos.
Ron Gibson, Calhoun County Animal Control, and Ted Felder, Calhoun County Deputy Administrator, are working closely with the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control (SCDHEC) to ensure we have an effective mosquito spray program and procedures for monitoring for potential disease outbreaks.
All this sounds scary but it shouldn't be. There are steps we can take around our own homes to help. The most important is to avoid having containers lying around that can collect water.
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water and most any water will do so long as it remains undisturbed for about two weeks. Water in tree holes, ditches, Fido's water dish, an old tire that's hanging around are often sites where a female will lay her eggs. She can lay 300 to 500 eggs, depending on species, before she finally dies.
Not all species of mosquitoes are blood suckers but the ones that are are females! And if you are bitten by a mosquito your blood donation is used to develop those eggs. I wonder, does that make you a mosquito parent and can you claim 50-100 eggs as a deduction on your taxes? Its something to think about!
I digress, the county will most probably have to do some spraying this year as they have done in years past. Let's do our part where we can.
I haven't decided if I want to pray for a hard winter this year; one that's cold enough to take care of those little boogers!
For information on the mosquito borne diseases visit SCDHEC.