Richland County Set to Begin Mosquito Control

COLUMBIA, SC – Richland County is gearing up for its annual mosquito control efforts as part of a comprehensive campaign aimed at reducing mosquito-borne illnesses and improving public health. The Vector Control team will soon commence activities including mosquito surveillance, larval breeding site treatment, and spraying for adult mosquitoes in densely populated areas outside the Columbia city limits.

Olin Towery, the Vector Control manager, emphasizes that mosquito spraying is just one element of the county’s integrated pest management strategy. “Our approach includes surveillance, public education, and the use of both mechanical and biological controls to combat mosquito-related nuisances and diseases,” Towery said. Unlike previous years, the spraying schedule is not fixed; instead, it will be determined by current conditions, with trucks typically spraying between midnight and dawn.

When a spray truck is operating nearby, residents are advised to stay indoors to allow the driver to thoroughly cover the area. The following are some recommended measures residents can take to help minimize mosquito breeding:

  • Empty, overturn, or remove water-holding containers like tires, cans, bottles, buckets, and flower pots.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus, following the instructions on the label.
  • Clear drainage ditches of debris and weeds.
  • Pack tree holes with sand to prevent water accumulation.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters regularly.
  • Keep boats overturned, drained, or covered to avoid water collection.
  • Stock ornamental ponds with top-feeding minnows to eat mosquito larvae.
  • Properly maintain swimming pools to prevent them from becoming mosquito breeding sites.
  • Change the water weekly in pet dishes, birdbaths, and containers used for rooting plants.
  • Ensure rain barrels have screens to keep mosquitoes out, and use the collected water promptly.

For more detailed tips on how to prevent mosquitoes, visit the county’s YouTube page for informative videos.

Have Questions or Need Assistance?

Richland County residents with questions or mosquito-related issues can contact Vector Control through the Ombudsman’s office at 803-929-6000. Beekeepers and individuals allergic to mosquito control products such as resmethrin, prallethrin, sumithrin, or permethrin are encouraged to notify the county to avoid potential health risks.

It is important to note that Richland County’s Vector Control services only cover areas outside the Columbia city limits. Residents within Columbia should call 803-545-4229 for mosquito control services. Those living in Lexington County and within the town limits of Batesburg-Leesville should contact the Town Hall at 803-532-4601, while other Lexington County residents can call 803-785-8440.

By taking these preventive steps and utilizing available resources, residents can help create a safer, healthier community, free from the nuisances and dangers posed by mosquitoes.