Keep mosquitoes at bay with these tips

Summer may be over, but mosquito populations are still high in the Upstate. I urge you to take commonsense precautions to help keep you and your family members safe from these biting flies.

  • Everyone, including children and pregnant women, should ALWAYS wear insect repellent. When used as directed, repellant is the best way to protect yourself from mosquitoes. Many products help keep mosquitoes at bay, including those containing DEET (Cutter, OFF!, Skintastic), Picaridin (Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus) and IR3535 (Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus).
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Avoid mosquitoes when possible. Most mosquito species bite during dawn, dusk, twilight hours and night. Some species bite during the day, especially in wooded or other shaded areas. Avoid exposure during these times and in these areas.
  • Avoid standing water. Drain and eliminate sites around your house that have standing water. Also, empty or throw away any containers that may have been left outside during rainfall and collected any water. Help eliminate mosquito habitats by mowing the lawn, trimming shrubbery and cutting down weeds and ivy in the yard.
  • Keep mosquitoes outside by using air conditioning or, if your windows are down, make sure window screens are intact.

Remember, bug bites can do more than itch; sometimes, they can lead to serious diseases or even death.

In S.C., the most common diseases potentially carried by mosquitoes include West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, La Crosse Encephalitis and Saint Louis Encephalitis.

S.C. is home to the mosquito species that carry the Zika virus, but Zika virus has not been detected in any S.C. mosquitoes to date. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is now mapping the presence and abundance of those potential Zika-vector mosquitoes throughout the state.

For more information about the mosquito survey or on mosquito control methods around the house, click here.

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