What Does Garlic Repel? (Top 5 Pests)

Garlic is considered an eco-friendly insecticide and is powerful against various pests (and no, I’m not talking just about vampires). Any pest, from moles to slugs, can be repelled by garlic. So, if you’re interested in using garlic to repel some local pests, let’s learn what does garlic repel?

First of all, there are many ways to repel pests with garlic. Two of my favorite ways are using a homemade garlic spray or planting garlic near the plants you wish to protect. However, I advise using a garlic spray if you want results immediately. One thing to remember is that garlic merely serves to repel pests; it does not kill them.

The nicest thing about garlic is that many bugs detest its scent, which is caused by allicin’s presence, which gives it its distinctive flavor. The moment you spray some garlic “juice” on your plants, they will begin to absorb it, and most bugs won’t approach them.

Before I start, if you’re looking for garlic bulbs, I highly recommend using this brand. You’ll never need to buy a second pack, seriously.

Prepared garlic ready for cooking

What Pests Does Garlic Repel? 

Slugs and Snails 

Slugs and snails are among our gardens’ most prevalent and troublesome pests. Even though they have a tendency to be very destructive, they are actually very advantageous to the surrounding ecosystem. Although it can be difficult depending on where you reside, you could try to get rid of them all (I don’t recommend this). Instead, concentrate on keeping them at bay by spraying or sowing garlic in your garden.

I advise sprinkling a garlic spray around the plants and on the plants themselves. Garlic has a strong smell that repels slugs and snails, so when you have sprinkled your plants for the first time, you’ll notice that they are spared. Make sure to apply the garlic spray in the evenings and once a week, preferably after it has rained.

Garlic ready for harvesting


You have probably encountered a few aphids if you have been growing green-leaved veggies. Aphids pose a concern because, in large enough populations, they can dry up plants by sucking the sap out of them. The growth of your flowers or veggies might be significantly slowed down by even a few aphids. The garlic spray also effectively kills aphids; simply sprinkle it on the leaves, and the insects should disappear within a few hours.

Garlic spray must be applied to plants being attacked by aphids because planting garlic around them doesn’t really work. For optimal effect, spray the garlic on both the top and bottom of the leaves when using the spray.


Most vegetable gardens will often get off to a good start before being nearly completely destroyed by caterpillars in weeks. Beginners frequently mistakenly believe that their gardens are healthy and beautiful when they see butterflies in them. Butterflies may indicate that your garden is overrun with caterpillars destroying your leafy vegetables. The good news is that garlic spray does, in fact, work to repel caterpillars, but you will still need to apply it to them.

Although it will take some time for the garlic to mature into a potent insect repellent, planting some between your veggies will also deter caterpillars. I advise using both approaches, especially if your garden is sizable.


They avoid my garlic patches, which I’ve noticed since I once had a big mole infestation. You will need to take numerous steps for the garlic to be successful against moles; it is not as easy as spraying the ground and hoping the moles won’t return. I recommend stuffing garlic cloves into each mole hole before applying garlic spray to the affected regions.

Moles won’t enter these regions, which is good news. The bad news is that they might dig a hole in another section of your garden, so you’ll have to play whack a mole with them for a while. Additionally, you should plant some garlic in places with many mole mounds because this will help deter moles from living there.

Don’t know where these bugs are coming from? It might be your mulch!


Allicin, a component of garlic that most insects find repulsive, is particularly repulsive to mosquitoes. One of my friends works as a tour guide in Alaska. He has a habit of eating a few cloves of garlic daily before venturing into the woods to keep the mosquitoes away. Use garlic spray if you have a spot outside your home where you like to sit and watch the sunset, but the mosquitoes are annoying you.

Simply spray the desired area to deter mosquitoes. Don’t worry. The smell of garlic will dissipate quickly. Still, mosquitoes will continue to stay away for several days or weeks.


In the world, there are countless varieties of flies, some of which seem unaffected by the scent of garlic while others seem to detest it. I advise applying a garlic spray in the places where you want to get rid of the flies if you have a lot of them and wish to repel them. If everything else fails, try the garlic spray to repel flies because it can occasionally be highly effective. However, this largely relies on the type of flies in your location.

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, garlic generally keeps pests away, but even pests that dislike the smell of garlic could still attack your plants. This typically occurs if the garlic spray was improperly prepared or the bugs were so starved that they ate everything in sight despite disliking garlic.

Interested in reading more about organic gardening? Check out our library of free resources.

What does garlic repel?

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