mosquito in south carolina

The Real Danger Mosquitoes Bring to South Carolina Residents

mosquito bite

Do you know that mosquitoes are considered to be the most dangerous animal in the world? Fortunately, they're not the most dangerous animal in the United States. That's why we can get dozens, and even hundreds, of mosquito bites every year and live to see another day. But that doesn't mean we're exempt from mosquito-related fatalities. Data compiled by the CDC indicates that almost 44,000 cases of West Nile virus have been reported in the U.S. since 1999, with more than 20,000 cases leading to infections of the spinal cord and more than 1,900 leading to human mortality. While this is certainly low, compared to the over 1 million individuals who die annually from malaria and other mosquito-borne viruses worldwide, it is still sobering to think that a mosquito bite could lead to death here in the states. And mosquitoes present other health risks that affect a much larger portion of the U.S. population.

It is important to understand that not all mosquitoes carry every virus and only two carry the worst viruses. In America, the two most prominent mosquito species are the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, both of which have a distribution in South Carolina. These two are vectors for West Nile, Chikungunya, dengue, Eastern equine encephalitis, yellow fever, and Zika.

Mosquito-Related Sickness

It is impossible to know how many people get sick from mosquito bites every year because the symptoms are often mistaken for the flu or the common cold, these symptoms include a fever, rash, headache, body aches, nausea, and vomiting. If these symptoms don't prompt a visit to the hospital, there is no chance of a diagnosis linking a virus to mosquitoes. And, even when an infected individual seeks medical attention, it doesn't guarantee a proper diagnosis.

Symptoms range from "none at all" to "life-threatening." And Zika virus can cause birth defects in unborn children, which can have a lifelong impact on a family. It is never a good idea to allow a mosquito to bite you.

Biological Factors

Mosquitoes require moisture and warmth to breed and thrive. The climate of South Carolina gives them both. Flash floods and heavy rainfall from tropical and subtropical storm systems make summer weather perfect for mosquitoes. Mosquito reduction begins with a control of rainwater.

It only takes 1 inch of still water for mosquitoes to breed. Here are some ways to prevent breeding sites on your South Carolina property:

  • Remove containers from your yard. Anything that can capture rainwater, should be stored away.

  • Items that hold rainwater and are not able to be stored away, such as tire swings, should have a hole drilled in them to allow water to leak out and soak into the ground.

  • Items that you would prefer to not put a hole in, like a birdbath, should have its water changed once a week. This will prevent mosquito eggs and larvae from maturing.

  • In unique situations, you may need to cover an item that collects water. Use a slanted tarp to channel water to the ground.

  • Trim tree branches and bushes to allow sunlight into shaded locations. This will dry things up faster.

  • Rake up leaves and other debris to prevent vernal pools from forming.

  • Make sure gutters and downspouts are allowing water to be channeled down and away from your foundation walls. Consider having gutter guards installed if you keep getting clogs.

Routine Treatments

When breeding site reduction is combined with seasonal mosquito treatments from a trusted professional, it is a one-two punch that can reduce mosquitoes in your yard to almost zero. This is because routine treatments apply an active ingredient to mosquito resting places that is only strong enough to eliminate mosquitoes. This essentially turns your bushes, tree canopies, and shaded locations into giant mosquito traps. And, since mosquitoes don't generally travel more than a few hundred yards in their entire life, it can take time for new mosquitoes to replace the mosquitoes that have been eliminated.

If you've never invested in seasonal mosquito control, give it a shot and find out why our customers come back year after year. While mileage may vary, depending on many factors, you may be shocked at how much of a difference it makes for you. Give us a call to get started!

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