Bug off! Berkeley abatement team fends off pesky mosquitoes

It’s a spring evening, and you’re digging your toes in the sand at the waterfront, finally getting used to the warmer weather, when all of a sudden you hear it before you feel it – the whine of a mosquito whizzing past your ear.
That’s right, mosquito season is closer than you think.
The rise in temperature calls for a rise in mosquito activity, and the Berkeley County Mosquito Abatement Department works ahead of time to attack the pesky insects before they can attack you.
According to the BCMA’s website, the department’s mission is to “defend the health and well-being of Berkeley County’s citizens from disease and discomfort caused by mosquitoes, using integrated mosquito management practices which are effective, economical, and protective of human health and the environment.”
To address proper mosquito control on Daniel Island, which is filled with marshy environments, the county monitors mosquito populations and areas where they tend to swarm.
“We monitor populations through light traps – devices that use light to attract and capture mosquitoes,” said county public information officer Jenna-ley Harrison.
“Throughout the week, we also conduct requests for service and a tactic called landing rates, in which a worker stands in an area for a short amount of time and counts how many mosquitoes land on him or her.”
Depending on the amount they find, the abatement team will either manage the mosquito populations through truck spraying or aerial spraying. They also employ a method called larvae siding, a process of interrupting mosquito larvae in water or other wet areas.
“We are on (Daniel Island) four days out of the week doing surveillance,” Harrison said. “We also answer requests for service and treat standing water. If needed, we also spray that area.”
Naled, the chemical used in the insecticide during aerial sprays, is approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is applied in small quantities. 
Harrison emphasized the chemical is used with precaution to mitigate environmental impact in an effort to line up with BCMA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment.
Additionally, Daniel Island equips its mosquito misters around areas like Pierce Park Pavilion and the Edgefield Park swimming pool, according to Chris Hamil, the operations manager for the Daniel Island Property Owners Association.
“During large-scale community events, a contractor has also been used to treat mosquitoes around landscape beds at least a day or more prior to the events,” Hamil said.
Harrison encourages residents to assist in mosquito control efforts by eliminating standing water on their properties and using insect repellents.
For do-it-yourself solutions, you can keep your garden weeded, making your landscape less inviting to these pests, or invite songbirds into your backyard with birdhouses or bird feeders to feed on insects, including mosquitoes.
Precautions, such as wearing protective clothing, bug spray, and using fans, can also help minimize mosquito encounters.
The abatement department communicates spray schedules with notifications posted online or releases information to the media 24 hours in advance. The property owners association also informs residents about spraying activities through weekly emails and newsletters. 
Marla Chalfie, in charge of resident services for the property association, commended the county’s efforts. “They do a great job overseeing mosquito abatement on the island,” she said.
To check the spray schedule or for additional information on the county’s mosquito abatement department, visit berkeleycountysc.gov/dept/mosquito/.

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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