A Natural Solution to Repelling Pests

By Tina Patterson

Touted by many and even sold by conservation district offices as a surefire way to combat mosquitoes, Garlic Mosquito Barrier has been around for about 20 years. While opinions differ on its effectiveness, the potent spray made from garlic cloves is said to be safe for pets and garden vegetables.

Sold for around $24 a quart bottle (which when applied covers about 1.25 acres), Mosquito Barrier might be great for those reluctant to apply DEET or other topical repellants. Proponents say it is 100 percent safe, non-toxic and useful for keeping pesky Canadian geese off lawns by making the grass unpalatable without hurting them. Advertisers say it can also be sprayed on fruit trees to keep birds from feasting on Michigan’s cherries and other fruit tree crops.

Stopping mosquitoes before they take flight is a goal of many families who wish to enjoy summer days without the application of repellants. Mosquito Barrier proponents suggest mixing the product with canola oil and spraying ponds and still water to kill mosquito larvae before they hatch.

But does it work? Claims on the Internet say the spray keeps not only mosquitoes but ticks, grasshoppers, black flies, gnats, fire ants and fleas from your yard, and that one application lasts for a month.

MNA would like to know if you have tried Mosquito Barrier, and if so, what were your results? How did you use it and would you recommend it to others? Is this a product that would have value at our group outings to sanctuaries? Please send an e-mail to Matt Hund news@michigannature.org and tell us what you think.