At least 61 different species of mosquitoes exist in South Carolina. The two-winged insects - whose name means "little fly" - are closely related to flies like gnats and no-see-ums.
Mosquitoes are a pest that can cause itchy bites, but they can also cause more serious health issues like spreading diseases. The most common diseases that could potentially be carried by mosquitoes in South Carolina include: West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis virus, and dog/cat heartworm.
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.
Mosquito control programs are managed at the local community level. Find a listing of local mosquito control programs. In light of the 2015 flood, DHEC has been urging local governments to review, update or create local ordinances designed to help their mosquito control programs reduce or treat standing water that can provide breeding sites for mosquitoes.
Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites
- Reduce the numbers of adult mosquitoes around your home.
- Drain, fill, or eliminate sites that have standing water.
- Empty or throw away containers that have standing water.
- Keep mosquitoes outside: Use air conditioning or make sure that you repair and use window/door screens.
- Avoid Mosquitoes: Most mosquito species bite during dawn, dusk, twilight hours, and night. Some species bite during the day, especially in wooded or other shaded areas. Avoid exposure during these times and in these areas.
- Wear insect repellent: Yes! It is safe. When used as directed, insect repellent is the BEST way to protect yourself from mosquito bites - even children and pregnant women should protect themselves.
- DEET: Products containing DEET include Cutter, OFF!, Skintastic.
- Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin): Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan outside the United States).
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD: Repel contains OLE.
- IR3535: Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.
- More repellent information
- Cover up: When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- Learn more about protecting yourself and your home from mosquitoes.