August 30, 2021

 

The City of Newberry began spraying for mosquitos this week and plans to continue, weather permitting through Friday, September 3. Should there be inclement weather, the spraying will be moved to next week.

In a press release dated August 13, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced that one human and three mosquito samples had tested positive for West Nile Virus in the Pee Dee Region. Newberry County was notified by SCDHEC over the weekend that one additional virus-positive human case has been discovered in the Newberry County area.

"Identifying mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus in our state is not uncommon," said Dr. Chris Evans, State Public Health Entomologist in the press release. "A positive identification should serve as a reminder of the importance of preventing mosquito bites."

Public Works Director Mac Bartley said the mosquito spraying within the city limits will take place after dark to limit interference with outdoor activities for residents.

Those that are beekeepers in the city are encouraged to notify the city’s Public Works department at 803-321-1020.

Care must be taken to minimize the impact to honeybees and other managed pollinators, Bartley said. This is why the City of Newberry now relies on the Integrated Pest Management System as a way to manage mosquitos.

The system is as follows:

  1. Communication and education - how the community can personally manage mosquitos.
  2. Cultural and Sanitation Controls – keeping trash and debris collected throughout the city.
  3. Physical and Mechanical Controls – eliminating breeding sites such as standing water.
  4. Using pesticides – as a last resort.

Bartley said the overuse of pesticides would cause mosquitoes to develop resistance, making pesticide spraying ineffective and cause a decline in the honeybee population.

Some effective ways the public can protect themselves and their household against mosquito bites according to SCDHEC include:

  • Eliminating all sources of standing water on their property, including flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, birdbaths, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, or 2-undecanone according to label instructions.
  • Wearing light-colored clothing to cover skin to reduce the risk of bites.
  • Making sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes.

Should residents have questions or concerns, they are encouraged to contact the city’s Public Works department directly at 803-321-1020.