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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2011

Mosquito spraying to begin in Sumter

SUMTER, S.C. – Preparations are underway to begin spraying to reduce the mosquito population in Sumter, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

"The mosquito control program, funded by the city of Sumter and Sumter County, will begin spraying the week of April 11," said David Vaughan, environmental health supervisor at DHEC's Sumter County Public Health Department. "Anyone with respiratory problems or allergies who would like to be notified when a particular area will be sprayed should contact DHEC's Sumter County Environmental Health office.

"Callers should give their home phone number, address and exact directions to their property. Beekeepers should also notify the environmental health office of their location," Vaughan said. "Anyone who would like to pinpoint areas with mosquito problems should call DHEC with the exact location, along with directions and a telephone number."

According to Vaughan, the public can also help reduce mosquito breeding areas by following these guidelines:

  • Remove any buckets, cups, bottles, flowerpots, plastic bags, tires or any water-holding containers that might have accumulated outside.
  • Do not allow water to stagnate in low-lying areas of the yard, in boats or on tarps that cover yard items such as boats, swimming pools, grills and woodpiles.
  • Keep birdbaths and pet bowls clean. Flush with clear water and clean out at least once a week.
  • Clean fallen leaves and other debris out of roof gutters and spouting.
  • Make sure outdoor trash cans have tight-fitting lids. If lids are not available, drill holes in the bottom of the can.
  • Make sure screens on windows and doors are in good repair.
  • Stock ornamental ponds with minnows or use appropriately labeled products to control mosquito larvae.
  • Trim and maintain shrubs and grass.

Vaughan said anything that holds as much as one-half inch of still water has the potential to become a breeding area for mosquitoes.

To report allergies or beekeeping, or for more information, call DHEC's Sumter County Environmental Health office at (803) 773-5511. For information on mosquito-borne diseases, and how to reduce your risk, see DHEC's website at: http://www.scdhec.gov/westnile.

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For more information:
Suzette McClellan – (803) 983-9092
E-mail – mcclelcs@dhec.sc.gov
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