Manila testing garlic spray for mosquitoes

7/10/2003 The Town Crier

By Revis Blaylock, Town Crier News Staff

Manila, AR

Manila Mayor Clifford Veach said the City of Manila is testing the use of diluted garlic juice in an effort to greatly reduce or eliminate mosquito activity.

"Garlic spraying has been highly recommended to us by other cities that have used this method of mosquito control," Veach said.

One gallon of garlic juice is mixed with 99 gallons of water before spraying. City employees started the testing at the Manila City Park where they have sprayed several times. The spray does have a garlic odor as it is being applied that lasts for 30 minutes to an hour after. There is not a noticeable garlic smell after that.

Mayor Veach and City Council members ask the citizens of Manila to be patient while the garlic spray is being testing.

"We have been told that it will take three to four sprayings to achieve the best results. We have also been told that vehicles and equipment are not harmed by the spray of this product," Veach said.

City employees are using the city's tractor equipped with a tank and spray rig for the testing. If the garlic juice proves to be successful and the city officials agree to go city-wide with the spray on a regular basis, officials will look into purchasing the applicator equipment needed to get the job done.

According to the information on Mosquito Barrier, the spray is completely safe for children and pets. There are no poisons or harmful chemicals in the product.

In addition to mosquitoes, when sprayed liberally on grass and plants in yards, it repels fleas, ticks and chiggers. It does not repel these by spraying the dogs or cats.

It does not keep insects away when sprayed on people. Mosquito Barrier only removes feeding areas.

When initially sprayed, Mosquito Barrier kills the mosquitoes and chases away the ticks, fleas and gnats. It coats the leaf surface of the grass, ornamentals and lower leaves of the trees with natural sulfur contained in garlic juice and all of these insects, not initially killed, are repelled from the area by this juice. It also prevents entry of neighboring mosquitoes. Mosquito larvae which were in any standing water in the area are suffocated by the spray which coats the water's surface and prevents oxygen from reaching the larvae.

Henry Ford, Manila water superintendent, said it was also recommended to use oil such as canola oil or cotton seed oil to help with standing water and puddles for suffocation of larvae.

City officials are hopeful that this will be a safe way to combat the mosquito problem for its citizens.

Residents can assist in the fight against the mosquito problem by taking steps on their own property such removing water collecting containers, keeping water out of used tires, cleaning bird baths and animal water bowls at least once a week, and aerating swimming pools and small ponds.