Gardening Pesticides

Homemade Garlic Spray

Ill.:, montage:

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

Ill.:, montage:
  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

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. After studies at the University of Toronto and Laval University where he obtained his B.A. in modern languages in 1978, he succeeded in combining his language skills with his passion for gardening in a novel career as a garden writer and lecturer. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He is a regular contributor to and horticultural consultant for Fleurs, Plantes, Jardins garden magazine and has written for many other garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Rebecca’s Garden and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 50 other titles in English and French. He can be seen in Quebec on French-language television and was notably a regular collaborator for 7 years on the TV shows Fleurs et Jardins and Salut Bonjour Weekend. He is the President of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. An avid proponent of garden tourism, he has lead garden tours throughout Canada and to the gardens of over 30 countries over the last 30 years. He presently resides in Quebec City, Quebec.

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