What You Need to Know
DHEC works in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor mosquito populations for diseases that can be spread to humans. The agency also provides information to help individuals and communities take action to reduce mosquito populations in their area and prevent bites. DHEC does not spray for mosquitoes.
- Adult mosquitoes do not generally survive the high winds associated with a hurricane.
- Flooding caused by hurricanes can be severe, and an increase in mosquito populations is expected in the weeks after flooding.
- An increase in the number of people getting sick from diseases spread by mosquitoes, however, is not expected after flooding.
Here’s Why: Floodwater Mosquitoes
Flooding causes “floodwater mosquito” eggs, which were previously laid in soil, to hatch. The result is very large populations of floodwater mosquitoes most of which are considered “nuisance mosquitoes.”
- Nuisance mosquitoes do not typically spread viruses that make people sick.
- Large numbers of nuisance mosquitoes can affect recovery efforts and mosquito control experts often take steps to limit their numbers.
Protect Yourself and Your Family from Mosquito Bites
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outside. You can also use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.
- See EPA’s search tool here.
- Always follow the product label instructions.
- Reapply insect repellent as directed.
- Do not spray repellent on your skin under clothing.
- If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
- Prevent mosquito bites.
Take Steps to Control Mosquitoes Inside and Outside Your Home
You can take steps to help control mosquitoes in and around your home to prevent mosquito bites.
- Remove standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs.
- Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers.
- Keep mosquitoes outside.