Fairbanks has always been famous for its mosquitoes, especially in the early days. The following newspaper article comes from a time before insect repellant, mosquito magnets, mosquito fogging sprays etc. While the methods of pest control used in this article may seem abhorrent by today’s standards, keep in mind that if that was your only option, you would certainly use it to rid yourself of them in hope of getting a good night’s sleep!
Fairbanks Daily News Miner- July 8, 1918
HAVE YOU GOT YOUR WARRANT
Search Warrants Being Issued With Instructions To Kill On Sight.
It is reported That the marshal’s office has installed a mimeograph outfit for the sole purpose of issuing John Doe warrants for the apprehension of Amos Quito, his friends, relatives or kin of any kind.
According to the same report every citizen of Fairbanks is to be armed with one of these warrants with instructions to serve it on all and sundry of the tribe of Amos, with whom he shall come in contact.
The tribe has invaded Fairbanks by the score, it might truly be said, by the million, and they are making life a burden for the inhabitants of this fair city.
It may be impracticable to sprinkle oil over all the stagnant water in the region surrounding Fairbanks, but it is not impractical to cover the pools and slough that are immediately adjacent to the town or included in the limits itself.
It is not too late to make a beginning yet. Although it may be impossible to completely eliminate the pests, still the judicious use of two or three barrels of crude oil at this time would result in killing off a large percentage of the pests and make the nights greatly more to look forward to than they are at present.
There is another phase of this question which must not be overlooked. Every water barrel set to catch rain water which has fallen during the recent rains, is a potential incubator for mosquitoes, and an investigation of any of those water caches today, will reveal the presence of thousands of the larva. In a day or two they will raise to the surface and forth as mosquitoes, endowed with the voracious appetite for which the animal is noted. Also, every garbage can, out house or other receptacle of refuse, unless tightly covered, is an ideal breeding place for the larvae. Keep the covered, and tightly, or better yet, keep them liberally sprinkled with oil. Don’t use gasoline, It evaporates and leaves no film, Kerosene or crude oil are best.
Note: After World War II, the military used their planes to aerial spray DDT for mosquito control. One year there was even a letter to the editor of the News-Miner complaining that the military was too slow in getting the spraying done. A few years later they fogged the streets with Malathion to keep the annoying little critters at bay. Today most of the puddles and low spots have been filled in so mosquitoes are not the problem they once were here in the Golden Heart City. This pesky little history nugget has been proudly brought to you by Fairbanks Men’s Igloo No. 4 and Women’s Igloo No. 8 of the Pioneers of Alaska.