Flood leaves Forence County residents fighting mosquitoes

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – Many of you have asked News 13 what Florence County plans to do about the mosquitoes swarming the area now that the flood waters are gone. Many residents say they’re so bad, they don’t want to step outside of their homes.

Thursday, Florence County Environmental Control crews were out spraying the area, and they admitted there is a big problem.

At Dollar General in Effingham, insect repellent is flying off the shelves.

Tina Langston says she’s had customers complain about the bugs for the last three weeks, and she can’t keep bug spray in stock.

“We have like tripled our sales in bug spray,” said Langston.

Now, residents like John Webb are starting to complain.

“The last few weeks, the mosquitoes have been horrible,” said Webb.

Webb says since the flood waters came through Florence County, bugs have been swarming his yard.

“There are so many mosquitoes you can barely even come outside without them biting you,” said Webb.

This time in 2013, Florence County Environmental Control says they had three complaints about the bugs. In 2014, that increased to 26 complaints. Now, after this year’s flood, the county’s received 287 mosquito complaints so far.

Florence County Environmental Control says the best advice they can give residents is to stay patient, wear long-sleeved clothing, and apply bug spray periodically.”

For Webb, that answer isn’t good enough.

“That is just two things I will not do. I don’t like long sleeves, and I hate bug spray,” said Webb.

Crews were able to spray for mosquitoes Thursday but say the last few weeks, they haven’t been able to.

In order for crews to go out, it must be late in the afternoon, where people are not around, when the temperature is above 65 degrees, and it’s not raining.

Florence County Environmental Control says for now they are still fully funded by the county, but with the large number of calls they’re worried they will soon run out of money.

Environmental Control’s Herbie Christmas says they’re meeting with FEMA to see if any funding is available.

 

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