Mosquitoes sucking the fun out of summer

It's safe to say most people think mosquitoes are annoying, especially in large numbers.
The topic came up during the Barnwell City Council meeting Aug. 5. Melissa Owens, a city resident, spoke to council about the problems she's had with mosquitoes.
"The mosquitoes are a nuisance," she said about the constant battle between her and the pesky blood-suckers.
She has young children who always want to play outside but are often bitten by the winged bugs.
She told council it's a problem every year, and she asked if there is anything the city can do about it. Barnwell has not had a mosquito-control program for decades.
Mayor Ed Lemon said he understood the problem and her concern, but the city doesn't have the funds to operate a full-scale program.
"Our budget is so tight now we're having to take money out of savings," said Lemon.
City Administrator John Zawacki estimated the cost of a full-scale control program to be around $20,000 a year. He estimated the chemicals would cost $10,000 a year and another $10,000 for labor - but the labor wouldn't be a new cost since a current city employee would handle the responsibilities.
He said a new mosquito fogger would cost the city $7,800.
Most mosquito control programs in the state are operated at the municipal level. Williston has had its own program for 10 years and sprays twice a week in different sections of the town during the warmer months. Interim Town Administrator Roger LeDuc estimated the yearly cost to be between $2,000 and $2,500 annually. They also don't hire extra help since a member of the maintenance crew is certified to use the fogger. And the truck and fuel costs are rolled into the maintenance budget since they're used for other things.
The town budgets several hundred dollars each year for chemicals, but has not bought any the last couple of years because it has a stockpile.
Blackville also does not have a mosquito-control program. Mayor Mike Beasley said he couldn't remember the town ever having one. He said mosquitoes are a problem he wants to address, either by borrowing a fogger from another town or contracting with a private company.
Both Beasley and Lemon were unaware Williston had its own program.
Williston Mayor Tommy Rivers said he's happy to let others use the fogger. But, he said, it's not very effective.
"It doesn't get to where the mosquitoes are," he said about driving down the road and spraying the chemical. Mosquitoes flourish in areas with standing water or moist soil that is often flooded.
Lemon has contacted him about using the fogger, Rivers said.
People who want to battle the bugs themselves can buy handheld foggers or hire a private company to spray.
According to DHEC, there are at least 61 mosquito species in South Carolina; worldwide there are about 3,200 species. They are a potential problem because some may carry the West Nile virus and other diseases. Last year saw an unusually high number of West Nile cases, which can lead to death, across the state and country.
Only female mosquitoes bite. They find us through the carbon dioxide we breathe out, lactic acid and other components in our sweat, scents such as perfume, hair spray and deodorant, and dark-colored clothing. Some bite any time of the day, especially in the shade, while others bite at dawn, dusk, twilight or night.
Mosquito eggs must be in water in order to hatch, and it takes less than two weeks for the larvae to develop into adults. Adult females will live just a few days or as long as a few weeks.
"I can't guarantee anything," Lemon told Owens at the meeting about the city spraying.
What is guaranteed is mosquitoes will continue to annoy us just like they annoyed the dinosaurs over 70 million years ago.