Make a DIY Garlic Spray to Keep Bugs Away

Learn how to make an organic DIY garlic spray that will deter and eliminate damaging garden insects.

One of my favorite vegetables to grow is garlic.

Besides loving to eat food with lots of garlic in it, I also like to use garlic to help repel and kill damaging insects in my garden.

It isn’t only vampires that don’t like garlic – bugs don’t like it either. Garlic is toxic to bugs and it also helps to bacteria and harmful fungus from harming your plants.

Making your own garlic spray is a great organic tool for a healthy vegetable garden. So are you ready to battle damaging insects with garlic? Here is how to make your own garlic spray:

Garlic spray is made up of four ingredients:  garlic, mineral oil, dish soap and water. 

  1. Add the 4 cloves of minced garlic to a tablespoon of mineral oil and let sit for 1 day.
  2. Strain out the minced garlic and add the oil and 1 teaspoon of dish soap to a pint of water.
  3. This ‘garlic mixture’ is in a concentrated form and must be diluted before use.  Fill a spray bottle with 1 pint of water and then add 2 tablespoons of your concentrated ‘garlic mixture’.  Shake to mix and you are ready to use your garlic spray.
  4. Be sure to test your spray on a small hidden part of your plant(s) and wait for a day or two to make sure that there is no damage to the leaves. If there is yellowing or other damage, you can further dilute your garlic spray.
  5. Spray where you see insect damage or where you see the bad bugs themselves.  Bugs like to hide underneath leaves, so be sure to spray there as well as on the top and stems.  (Garlic spray works especially well against aphids).

Backyard tip: Garlic spray will also kill beneficial insects, so use wisely.

So make some of your own garlic spray to get rid of the bad bugs in your garden.  It’s effective, inexpensive, organic and easy to make!

To learn how to plant and grow you own garlic, check out the following posts:

Love Garlic? Grow Your Own!

Roses Love Garlic: Here’s Why

Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist, writer and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. She is the CEO and owner of 'AZ Plant Lady,' an education company that aims to help people garden successfully in the desert climate. She is the author of the book, Dry Climate Gardening, and her byline has appeared in publications such as Birds & Blooms and Phoenix Home & Garden magazine. She is an instructor at the Desert Botanical garden and Tucson Botanical Gardens.