A spray containing a potent form of garlic is being tested as a mosquito repellent in Leduc, south of Edmonton.
Made up of 99.3 per cent garlic juice, the spray is an organic, natural product that isn’t harmful to humans, animals or other insects.
“It is a very special form of garlic that's about three times more potent than a regular standard garlic,” said Todd Wilson, superintendent of parks for the City of Leduc.
The garlic contains sulfurs which mosquitoes hate. While humans find the scent unpleasant, it dissipates within an hour of spraying. But mosquitoes can detect it for weeks afterwards.
“A mosquito will smell about 10,000 times more acutely than a human being,” Wilson said.
The city sprays based on rainfall because the substance needs to stay on leaves and grass for at least 24 hours. Staff started spraying every two weeks, now they only have to do it once a month.
The spray is being tested at W.F. Lede Park, where many sports teams play and Wilson says he's getting good feedback.
Wilson says the city is hearing good things from teams that use the park. Residents who spoke to CBC say they are happy to hear that the spray won’t hurt them.
“I think it's good,” said Jen Hoffman. “I think it's better to not use chemicals and pollute the ground.”
Next year, Leduc plans to set up traps to monitor how effective garlic is at keeping mosquitoes away.