Mosquito Spraying Discussed By County Council

By Betsy Finklea
Mosquito spraying was discussed at the Dillon County Council meeting on August 28th.
Vice-Chairman T.F. “Buzzy” Finklea, Jr., said he had received several calls on how bad they are out in the county and said they are bad in his back yard and that he lives in town limits. “They are about as bad as they were after last year’s hurricane,” he said.
Finklea said after the hurricane last year, the county bought some expensive spraying equipment. He said his understanding was that the county was going to spray this year with that equipment. He said that equipment is just sitting out there, and it hasn’t been used. He said they had several dollars worth of chemicals, and if they keep sitting there, they are going to the bad, and “we are going to have a problem.”
“I don’t see why we aren’t spraying,” Finklea said. “We’ve got the machines, and we’ve got the chemicals so it really wouldn’t cost us anything except gas.”
“What is the hold up?,” asked Councilman James Campbell.
“I don’t know what the hold up is,” Finklea said.
Councilman Gerome McLeod asked if one issue was the trucks.
County Administrator Tony Clyburn answered yes. He said they do have the chemicals which are good as of now, and they do have the equipment. He said what they don’t have is a proper way to transport it. “We don’t have a truck,” Clyburn said.
Clyburn explained that they were supposed to have a short, flat bed truck ideally. He said there is a way to strap it on to a pick-up truck. He said the truck is really the only hold-up.
Clyburn said there are pockets in the county that are affected by mosquitoes, but countywide, it hasn’t been that bad as far as all areas of the county. “We have had a relatively dry summer so far, but rain season is coming,” Clyburn said.
Clyburn said when they discussed it at first, they did say that they didn’t want to carry it on that many weeks because then they would have to start buying more chemicals.
They wanted to wait when they would catch the full mosquito season which would be in this area in September and October, Clyburn said. He said they have about eight weeks of chemicals left.
Clyburn said they can go ahead and start spraying if council so desires, but they are going to start running out of chemicals in the latter part of mosquito season, and they didn’t know what was going to happen with these storms.
Clyburn said that’s the reason behind the delay. He said they can always spray now, and they may have to spend more to get more chemicals.
“That’s a decisions you have to make,” Clyburn said.
Finklea said if the county doesn’t have a truck right now that he can get a flatbed trailer and that the county had plenty of those. He said that could be hooked to that back of a Tahoe.
Clyburn said that was not a problem getting it around, but they needed to decide how far before and into mosquito season that they wanted to spray.
Finklea said mosquito season is now. He said in October it starts getting cool, and mosquitoes are not as bad.
McLeod said they need to be well-calculated with the spraying.
Clyburn said last year with the water the mosquitoes were around longer.
Campbell said to start spraying and if they run out to buy more chemicals if people are complaining about them.
McLeod asked if they are going to spray the affected areas.
Clyburn asked if they just spray the affected areas how fair was that to the other taxpayers.
Finklea said they need to spray the most populated areas.
Clyburn said out of effectiveness, they were going to have to spray the most populated areas. He said there was no way to spray the very rural areas.
Upon a motion by Councilman Archie Scott, the council made a motion to start mosquito spraying and to notify the media of the schedule.
The council discussed spraying after sunset to help the beekeepers. Finklea said he believes Clemson Extension has a list.
Scott’s motion was approved by the council