Mosquitoes make unwelcome return to Grand Strand backyards

It's that time of year again, when mosquitoes make their return to our backyards. But this year, they arrived on the Grand Strand much earlier than usual.

The crews at Lane's Pest Elimination are busy these days, spraying backyards to get rid of the biting pests.

There's nothing strange about that for mid-April, but with this year's unseasonably warm winter, Lane's crews have been busy since February, a good six to eight weeks earlier than normal.

"I think that people are out trying to enjoy the weather now and they're seeing the mosquitoes, so they want to have something done about it," said Lane's asst. general manager Lennie Johnson.

Johnson said it's hard to tell whether the early start to mosquito season will mean the infestation will be worse than usual this summer, but it's unlikely to be much better.

The problem in this area is the Asian Tiger Mosquito, which Johnson said can be a carrier for the West Nile Virus.

When it comes to mosquito breeding grounds, Johnson said running water isn't a problem. It's stagnant water that homeowners need to be concerned about.

That means you should avoid having standing water in your birdbath, in saucers under potted plants, in overturned toys or even in empty bottle caps.

While you're clearing your yard of those things, you should also be on the lookout for the Grand Strand's newest nuisance: the Kudzu bug.

Those little green pests tend to cluster around window frames, fence posts and the like. Johnson said for urban homeowners, Kudzu bugs are mostly an annoyance.

"They're not going to do any destruction to your home or anything like that, and you want to make sure you keep your screens closed and things like that so they don't come inside," Johnson said.

If you're spraying to get rid of the mosquitoes, Johnson said that should take care of the kudzu bugs, too.

He said this is also prime season for termite swarms, so make sure your home is protected.