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Published on June 20th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Richland County’s Mosquito Prevention Tips Take the Bite Out of Summer

Summer officially starts Saturday, and avoiding mosquito bites should be on everyone’s must-do list for the season.

The Richland County Vector Control Department wants residents to take precautions and to eliminate any potential mosquito breeding spots, which could be lurking in your own backyard. That’s the premise of a new educational video produced by the County’s Public Information Office just in time for National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, Sunday through June 28.

In the video, Tammy Brewer, who heads the County’s vector control program, takes viewers on a journey through a typical Richland County backyard and gives tips on preventing mosquitoes from breeding in everything from bottle caps to fallen leaves.

“Mosquitoes are actually one of the most dangerous animals in the world,” Brewer said. “They spread more disease and kill more people worldwide than any other animal.”

The vector control program conducts regular surveillance to monitor for possible problems in Richland County. More than 20 mosquito traps have been positioned countywide to help vector control employees determine the type and number of mosquitoes active in a given community.

Tips to help control mosquitoes include:

· Clean bird baths twice weekly; dump water and scrub the inside of the bowl
· Empty, overturn or remove other water-holding containers such as tires, cans, bottles, buckets and flower pots; water can collect in almost any item, including fallen, upturned magnolia leaves or trash, such as bottle caps
· Store yard equipment items on the sides to prevent water from collecting inside them
· Clear drainage ditches of debris and weeds
· Pack tree holes with sand or cement
· Clean clogged roof gutters
· Keep boats drained and covered or overturned – covers should not collect water
· Stock ornamental ponds with top-feeding minnows
· Maintain swimming pools properly
· Make sure there are screens on rain barrels to prevent mosquitoes from accessing the collected water and use the water as soon as possible

Brewer also encourages residents who live near a water source, such as a lake, river or swamp to be especially vigilant after flooding. No matter where you live, one tip is key when going outside during the summer: Use insect repellents that contain DEET or Picaridin according to label instructions.

The video is airing on the County’s cable government access channel and YouTube channel.

This year marks the18th annual “National Mosquito Control Awareness Week” by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA). The AMCA, an international organization of public health professionals, is dedicated to preserving the public’s health and well-being through safe, environmentally sound mosquito control programs. During “Mosquito Week” the AMCA’s goal is to educate the general public about the significance of mosquitoes and the important service provided by mosquito control workers throughout the United States and worldwide.

To report any vector control issues within Richland County, call (803) 929-6000.

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