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 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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