For decades, consumers have been wary of the ingredients in traditional insect repellents, so they are constantly searching for natural ways to repel mosquitoes.
Does Garlic Repel Mosquitoes?
While there hasn’t been as much research into whether garlic repels mosquitoes compared to other natural plants and essential oils, the few studies that do exist tend to point to the same answer: yes. In fact, we use garlic as one of the active ingredients in our natural mosquito repellent.
This study provides some evidence that garlic might be an effective mosquito repellent. Like many other natural methods, the repellent properties are attributed to the chemical compounds within the plant.
How Does Garlic Repel Mosquitoes?
Garlic contains about 33 organic sulfur compounds, also known as organosulfur, and this study provides compelling evidence that some of these are successful in repelling mosquitoes.
Countless articles and videos mention using sulfur compounds to repel mosquitoes, though there’s no direct link between sulfur compounds repelling or killing mosquitoes. That said, sulfur has been used as an organic pesticide for over 100 years in the United States, as it’s proven to kill insects when ingested.
The NIAID posted an article stating that mosquitoes have very sensitive receptors to detect potential hosts. Because of this hypersensitivity, the strong scent of sulfur from garlic may be the reason for its potential effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes.
Additionally, garlic has been found to be toxic to mosquitoes if they decide to get close enough to ingest it, which is one of the reasons it’s a preferred ingredient in many natural pesticides.
We already know from other scientific studies that plants with strong scents are effective natural mosquito repellents. This is why scents from plants like peppermint and rosemary are great ways to naturally keep mosquitoes at bay — they can’t stand the strong smell. So, it would stand to reason that with the strong scent garlic gives off, mosquitoes would definitely want to stay away.
How to Use Garlic to Repel Mosquitoes
One of the most common methods is to use a garlic spray to coat exposed skin. You can even use it in areas that have a high density of mosquitoes.
What You’ll Need:
- 3-4 Cloves of Garlic
- Mineral Oil
- 2 Cups of Water
- Cheesecloth or Coffee Filter
- Spray Bottle
Directions: Mince the garlic cloves, then cover them with a few tablespoons of mineral oil in a bowl. Let this sit for 24 hours so the sulfur compounds can bond to the oil. After 24 hours, filter out the garlic by pouring the mixture through cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Then, combine the oil with two cups of water. Vigorously mix and add to the spray bottle to use.
For a better scent (and to make a more effective mixture), add some lemon juice, lavender oil, or basil essential oil.
Can Eating Garlic Repel Mosquitoes?
There is no evidence that eating garlic repels mosquitoes when ingested casually. One study tested this theory by having participants eat garlic before being exposed to mosquitoes in a controlled environment. It concluded that there was no effect on how much a person was bitten after ingesting garlic.
Because the study only tested the effects after participants ate garlic for one day, effectiveness after long-term ingestion cannot be determined.
Looking for Natural Mosquito Protection?
Whether or not you decide to use garlic as a mosquito repellent is up to you, but we do encourage protecting yourself in a natural way that is safe for kids and pets.
We’ve formulated an all-natural mosquito repellent that’s proven to work!