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How to Make Garlic Pesticide

By Judy Wolfe ; Updated July 21, 2017
Grow garlic (Allium sativum, U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones  4 through 9) in the garden to keep insect pests away.
deyangeorgiev/iStock/Getty Images

Seen through the eyes of insects, the most peaceful garden in the world is a battleground for survival. All gardens attract plant-attacking insects, their predators and pollinators such as honeybees. When humans intervene with broad-spectrum chemical pesticides, bad and good insects alike pay with their lives. Before you launch an all-out attack on garden bugs, consider a less-toxic approach: homemade garlic pesticide.

How Garlic Pesticide Works

The U.S. Environmental Protective Agency classifies garlic as a "biochemical pesticide." In simple terms, this means garlic is a natural, nontoxic substance with no harmful environmental effects. Garlic simply repels insects with its pungent aroma. They avoid garlic-scented plants, going elsewhere to feed and lay their eggs.

Making Garlic Pesticide

Garlic's bug-repelling properties won't eliminate an existing insect infestation. To transform garlic repellent into a nontoxic but lethal treatment for soft-bodied insect pests, make your own garlic and soap solution.

Measure 1 generous tablespoon of the liquid soap, 1/2 tablespoon of the cooking oil and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder into the spray bottle. As a sticking agent, the oil helps the spray adhere to the plants.

Fill the bottle with water, cap it and shake it thoroughly to blend the ingredients.

Spray a few leaves on your target plants and wait 24 hours.

Check the sprayed leaves for burned spots. If the plants are sensitive, dilute the spray by replacing one-half of it with plain water.

For more information on making organic pesticides, see "How to Make an Organic Pepper Spray for Plants," and "How to Make an Orange Oil Pesticide."


About the Author


Passionate for travel and the well-written word, Judy Wolfe is a professional writer with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Cal Poly Pomona and a certificate in advanced floral design. Her thousands of published articles cover topics from travel and gardening to pet care and technology.