SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Spraying for mosquitoes began Thursday evening in Spartanburg County, and some residents aren’t happy about it.

County officials said only certain areas within the county were targeted to be sprayed.

Some people 7NEWS spoke with, like beekeepers, have some concerns about what the spray can do to their hives.

“What are beekeepers supposed to do? Go out and watch their bees die?” said Joan Slemenda.

Joan Slemenda has been a beekeeper for 12 years. She lives in Spartanburg County and said spraying for mosquitoes does more harm than good.

“It stays on the leaves and plants for two to three weeks. The bees come and go to those plants and so, the bees die,” she said.

Slemenda said each of her hives has around 50,000-70,000 bees and she doesn’t want to lose them.

“Spraying and killing my beehives, we’re talking about thousands of dollars,” said Slemenda.

The county, however, said spraying is needed in certain areas.

“Mosquitos can spread viruses, so whatever we can do to prevent that and keep our residents healthy, as well as, reduce the number of mosquitoes, we’re going to do that,” said Spartanburg County spokesperson Scottie Kay Blackwell.

Blackwell said an automated call was made to residents in parts of the county.

“To notify the individuals within the target zone and we also notified beekeepers of the spray activity, because we know the spray can be toxic to bees,” she said.

Blackwell said the zones were chosen by DHEC and include the City of Spartanburg and neighborhoods like Duncan Park and Hampton Heights.

“We want folks to have an enjoyable summer without having to worry about the nuisance that are mosquitoes,” said Blackwell.

She said this isn’t the first time they’ve had to protect against mosquitoes.

“Luckily, this spray operation isn’t being done due to West Nile, like it has been in the past, but it’s still important,” said Blackwell.

Slemenda doesn’t think the spray is safe.

“That’s my concern, it’s a health issue. It’s a health issue not just for bees, but for humans and for pets,” said Slemenda.

She said she wants the County to find another option.

“Stop spraying, it’s not necessary,” she said.

Blackwell says the spraying will continue through Friday evening. Some tips to avoid getting bitten are:

  • wear repellant
  • wear light-colored clothes
  • put screens on your doors and windows
  • get rid of any standing water