North Myrtle Beach keeps close eye on mosquitoes

North Myrtle Beach keeps close eye on mosquitoes (Madeline Montgomery/WPDE)

An itchy bite that could turn deadly: mosquitoes are the world's most dangerous animal, killing 725,000 people a year, according to the World Health Organization.

"They test for many diseases, the biggest ones in our area are West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis, Zika, and there's many many more," said Johnny Bruton, who is in charge of mosquito control for the City of North Myrtle Beach.

Most deaths from mosquito carried diseases happen outside of the us.

"Some mosquitoes only travel a few hundred feet, some mosquitoes can travel miles," said Bruton.

But, that doesn't keep the diseases away.

"It's done a lot by birds. Mosquitoes get a lot of diseases from birds and then once they bite the bird, they transmit it to a human," said Bruton.

Horry County and the City of North Myrtle Beach keep a close eye on local mosquitoes.

"We gather the mosquitoes, we trap the mosquitoes, and then we give them to DHEC and they actually do the testing in Columbia," said Bruton.

This summer has been especially busy for the North Myrtle Beach.

"We've had some elevated mosquito counts earlier in the year. All the rain we've had this year, this is a bad year for mosquitoes," said Bruton.

They use larvacide in standing water around the city and spray.

"There's a few that know, some people don't know we exist. Some people are not very happy to see us," said Bruton.

Bruton says the city and its residents shuld do whatever it takes to stay safe.

"Every body should wear mosquito repellent, something with deet in it, you should tip and toss any containers or breeding areas around your home," said Bruton.

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