To provide the citizens of Richland County with the most efficient and effective vector control possible, utilizing integrated surveillance and control strategies.
Richland County Vector Control
400 Powell Road
Columbia, SC 29203
A vector is an organism that has the ability to transmit disease to humans such as ticks, fleas, flies, rats and mosquitoes. The mission of the Richland County Vector Control Program is to provide the citizens of the county with the most efficient and effective vector control possible, utilizing integrated surveillance and control strategies. We treat for mosquitoes and, depending on the circumstances, rats but we do not specifically treat sites for flea and tick problems but instead provide technical assistance to citizens so they may make a more informed choice to address their particular problem.
Providing mosquito control services is the largest portion of our program operations. Mosquito nuisance calls are taken throughout the summer and an inspector is sent to try and locate the source of the problem. We work with the citizens to teach them how to protect themselves from mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis that have made news headlines recently and to suppress the mosquito populations in the county.
The mosquito control program employs surveillance to determine the types and level of mosquito activity. The county is divided into more than 54 control areas or zones. Data is collected from 22 of the more populated zones using New Jersey light traps and rainfall gauges. We participate in West Nile Surveillance in partnership with SCDHEC’s Bureau of Laboratories where we submit mosquito collections taken with CDC and gravid traps and dead birds for disease analysis. This information is used so we may better target our control efforts.
Larviciding operations are conducted throughout the county to attack the mosquito at the weakest point in its life cycle and to prevent adult emergence. As larval surveys are performed, breeding sites are recorded on area maps. Identified sites are treated throughout the mosquito season. Control is achieved through the use of larvicidal oils, mono-molecular films, biological products and predatory fish.
Adulticiding is conducted by using ultra-low-volume (ULV) ground equipment to spray during nighttime hours to reduce the adult mosquito population. Areas to be adulticided are determined based upon our surveillance information. Our primary adulticide is permethrin with a resmethrin product also being used occasionally with both products being non-persistent in the environment.
In areas where container-breeding species are prevalent, and spraying is usually ineffective, we conduct community surveys to determine the extent these species are present and to educate residents about mosquito biology and prevention techniques. These actions greatly enhance the effectiveness of adulticiding operations.
Educational presentations on various vector related topics are provided throughout the year to various groups such as; Richland 101, Richland 101 for kids, homeowner associations, school groups, garden clubs, and church groups. These presentations teach residents what they can do to protect themselves and encourage participation from the community to help us control their mosquito problems.