How To Utilize Garlic for Pest Control: Defeat Pests with Nature

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Welcome to the world of homesteading, where self-reliance and natural solutions reign supreme. If you’re tired of battling pests in your home and garden with harmful chemicals, it’s time to explore the power of garlic for pest control. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through various strategies tailored to the common homesteader. From DIY bug sprays to companion planting, we’ll delve into the secrets behind why pests hate garlic and how you can use this versatile herb to your advantage. Additionally, we’ll explore how consuming garlic can ward off pesky mosquitoes and ticks. Let’s get started!

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The Science behind Garlic’s Pest-Repelling Abilities

Have you ever wondered why pests detest garlic? The answer lies in the sulfur compounds present in this remarkable herb. Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which gives it its distinctive smell and potent pest-repelling properties.

When garlic is crushed or chopped, it releases allicin. This compound acts as a natural insecticide, repelling pests and disrupting their feeding patterns. In addition, the strong odor of garlic masks the scents that attract pests, making your garden less appealing to them.


DIY Bug Sprays for Home and Garden

One of the most effective ways to utilize garlic for pest control is by creating your own DIY bug sprays. These natural concoctions are not only safe for your family and the environment but are also highly effective against a wide range of pests. Additionally, this spray can be used in the garden, directly on foliage or the ground. The spray should be applied twice a week on foliage and once a week when spraying the ground.

DIY Garlic Spray & Pepper Recipe

You can also add other things to the garlic spray, such as hot peppers, to deter larger critters. Animals like deer, elk, mice, rabbits, raccoons, rats and voles hate the smell. In addition, the added capsicum from the pepper may irritate their feet.

garlic spray for bugs

Simply add 2 garlic bulbs and 2 hot peppers (such as cayenne pepper) to a blender with a few cups of water. Liquify the solution and then strain through a cheesecloth. Add this to a gallon container and top with water before use.

Alternatively, you can bring 2 chopped garlic bulbs, 2 sliced hot peppers and 8 cups of water to a boil for 10-20 minutes. Allow the mixture to sit and steep until completely cooled. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth before adding to a gallon container and topping with water.

The Ultimate Garlic Spray Recipe

You can also add onion to the garlic spray to bring out even more of the sulfur allium properties. Additionally, a bit of dish soap can be added to break down the water’s surface and suffocate any current infestation. However, be sure to test your solution on a small area to ensure it’s not too strong as too much soap on plants can kill them pretty quickly.

To make the ultimate garlic bug spray, simply puree 3 hot peppers, 3 garlic cloves, 1 onion, and 1 tablespoon dish soap. Steep this mixture in 3-4 cups of water for a day before straining through a cheesecloth.

Garlic For Pest Control

This DIY bug spray can be used both indoors and outdoors to repel the following insects;

  • Ants
  • Aphids
  • Bean beetles
  • Cabbage worms
  • Caterpillars
  • Colorado potato beetles
  • Diamondback moths
  • Fruit borers
  • June bugs
  • Leafhoppers
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Moths
  • Rose chafers
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Spider mites
  • Squash bugs
  • Termites
  • Whiteflies
  • Flies

Your DIY bug spray may need to be reapplied every few days or after rain for optimal effectiveness.

A Natural Commercial Alternative

If you prefer to purchase a natural product, yet still utilize garlic for pest control, Garlic Research Labs makes a great product that can be used in the home or garden. They use some very potent garlic in their mix and it is OMRI Organic. I personally have not used their spray, because I prefer to just make my own. However, if you don’t have the time or just prefer to purchase your spray, this is a great option!

garlic bug repellent
Garlic Barrier 32 oz Insect Repellent White

Natural product
One applications lasts 3-4 weeks
Won’t harm pets or children in yard
No harmful fumes or chemicals
RTU (ready to use) – not a concentrate

Companion Planting Garlic for Pest Control

Companion planting is a technique that involves strategically placing certain plants together to enhance growth, deter pests, and increase yields. Furthermore, when it comes to pest control, garlic is a superstar companion plant that can work wonders in your garden.

Repelling Garden Pests

Garlic emits a strong odor due to the presence of sulfur compounds. This pungent aroma acts as a natural repellent against various garden pests, including aphids, Japanese beetles, and snails. Planting garlic near vulnerable crops can help keep these pests at bay.

Attracting Beneficial Insects

In addition to repelling pests, garlic also attracts beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps. These insects act as natural predators, feasting on garden pests and keeping their populations in check.

Interplanting with Complementary Plants

To maximize the benefits of companion planting, consider interplanting garlic with other compatible plants. Some great options include marigolds, chives, and nasturtiums. Marigolds repel nematodes and certain flying insects, while chives and nasturtiums deter aphids and beetles.

Consuming Garlic for Personal Pest Control

The benefits of garlic extend beyond the garden. Consuming garlic regularly can help protect you from pests like mosquitoes and ticks. When you eat garlic, it releases sulfur compounds through your pores, creating a barrier that repels these unwanted pests.

DIY garlic bug spray

While consuming garlic alone may not make you completely bite-proof, it can certainly help reduce the number of bites you receive. Incorporate garlic into your diet by adding it to your favorite dishes or taking odorless garlic supplements if you prefer to avoid the strong smell.


As a homesteader, incorporating garlic into your pest control arsenal is a natural and effective choice. From DIY bug sprays to companion planting, there are various ways to utilize garlic for pest control in your home and garden. Furthermore, by understanding the science behind garlic’s pest-repelling abilities and incorporating it into your diet, you can create a harmonious environment that keeps pests at bay. Embrace the power of garlic and become a master homesteader in natural pest control.

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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