The Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) is planning to use mosquito larvicidal oil to control malaria in its jurisdiction, Mayor Mahabala Marla has said.

It is said to be “effective” against Anopheles stephensi, a mosquito causing malaria and Aedes aegypti mosquito, causing dengue.

The Standing Committee for Public Health, Education and Social Justice at the civic body would take a decision on it soon, after discussing the pros and cons of using larvicidal oil, he said.

MCC Health Officer Manjaiah Shetty told The Hindu that larvicidal oil was a highly refined petroleum distillate designed especially for mosquito control. The oil killed larvae in initial stage by suffocating them in water, he said.

The municipal corporations of Mumbai and Chennai were using it for the last two years, Dr. Shetty said. On his visit to Mumbai last month, the health officials there said it was effective in malaria control, he said.

Quoting a report of oil marketing company Indian Oil Corporation which manufactures this product, he said that when the oil was sprayed on water surface it formed a continuous thin film which would cut off oxygen supply from water and kill the larvae.

Dr. Shetty said now the city corporation here would use a sample of the oil on experimental basis by spraying it on stagnated water having malaria-causing larvae.

Meanwhile, the malaria cell in the corporation said, of 31,999 blood smears tested in different hospitals and laboratories in its jurisdiction in the first six months of this year, 4,248 malaria positive cases have been found. Of 33,284 blood smears tested during the same period last year 1,986 malaria positive cases had been found.