Gardening Pesticides

Homemade Garlic Spray

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There are so many ineffective home remedies floating around in the gardening world, especially on the Internet, that it’s easy to forget that some really do work. And one treatment that has shown verifiable results is garlic insecticide.

Not that this insecticide kills insects very effectively. It’s more of a repellant. Aphids, whiteflies and beetles tend to avoid the parts of the plant that are sprayed and will move to untreated parts of the plant or to neighboring plants. It has not been shown to be effective against already established and largely immobile insects, such as mealybugs and scale insects.

Garlic Spray Recipe

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  1. Add a clove of garlic and two cups of water to a blender.
  2. Run the appliance on high speed until the garlic is pureed.
  3. Pour the liquid into a dish.
  4. Cover and let it sit for a day.
  5. Pour the liquid through cheesecloth, a colander or a sieve to filter out the pulp.
  6. Mix the solution into 1 gallon (4 liters) of water. 
  7. Add a spoonful of insecticidal soap to improve adhesiveness.
  8. Spray it on plants infested with aphids, whiteflies or other flying insects. 

You can store this solution for up to 2 weeks.

If you’re not keen on making your own garlic insecticide, there are commercial garlic sprays on the market.

Vampire holding a "go away garlic" sign.

Garlic insecticide will be effective as long as the plant smells of garlic, as much as two weeks depending on the conditions.

And who knows? Your garlic spray might just keep vampires away as well!


N.D.L.R. Adapted from an article originally published on February 4, 2016

Garden writer and blogger, author of more than 60 gardening books, the laidback gardener, Larry Hodgson, lives and gardens in Quebec City, Canada. The Laidback Gardener blog offers more than 2,500 articles to passionate home gardeners, always with the goal of demystifying gardening and making it easier for even novice gardeners. If you have a gardening question, enter it in Search: the answer is probably already there!

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