A well-made garlic spray will work wonders in your garden, as it repels a lot of insects, slugs, snails, and even moles. If you have tried everything to get rid of your pests and they do not seem to work then you might want to make a garlic spray and give it a try. Garlic spray against pests is a viable option if you can not or do not want to use chemical pesticides, like in the case you have children or pets.
To create a homemade garlic insect repellent, start by crushing two to three fresh garlic cloves and combining them with a food-grade oil like sunflower oil. Allow the mixture to infuse for a full day, ensuring that the garlic imparts its properties into the oil. Afterward, add one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and 500 ml of water to the infused garlic-oil mixture. This combination will create a potent solution that can be used to repel insects effectively.
If you are going to make your own garlic spray then my personal recommendation is to use organic garlic as it contains more allicin Click here to check it out on Amazon.com
There are a lot of tutorials online on how to make garlic spray, and way too many of them do it incorrectly. The good news is that even if you make the garlic spray incorrectly you will still see some results, but if you want to make a garlic spray that is extremely potent against, slugs, snails, insects, moles, ticks, and so on then you are in the right place. The more powerful the garlic spray is the less you will have to use it and the faster you will see the results in the garden.
A lot of people come up with their own specially made garlic spray, but for the most part, you should keep it as simple as possible, there are a couple of things that you should definitely do but some things simply make the garlic spray less effective, like boiling it for example. If you want to know what does garlic repel then check out my recent article What Does Garlic Repel? ( Top 7 Pests ).
How To Make Garlic Spray
To make the spray, I start by peeling and chopping several cloves of fresh garlic. Then, I add the chopped garlic to a blender or food processor along with a few cups of water. I blend the mixture until it forms a smooth consistency. Next, I strain the liquid into a spray bottle, removing any solid particles. For added effectiveness, I sometimes mix in a small amount of vegetable oil or liquid soap to help the spray adhere to the plants.
To use the garlic spray, I simply apply it directly onto the leaves and stems of affected plants or as a preventive measure. It’s important to reapply the spray after rainfall or as needed. The pungent odor of garlic acts as a natural repellent to many pests, helping to protect your garden from common invaders. However, it’s always a good idea to test the spray on a small area of your plants before applying it more extensively to ensure it doesn’t cause any adverse reactions.
Use Organic Garlic
It is extremely important to use organic garlic when making the spray, as organic garlic tends to contain a lot more allicin, which actually is a pest repellent. Allicin gives garlic its unique smell, and a lot of pests tend to hate the smell of it. Garlic that has been grown on mass and treated with different chemicals just to make them grow faster will contain a lot less allicin, this is why they also spoil so fast when compared to organic garlic.
Use Non-Bleached Garlic
You might not know this but most garlic sold in supermarkets is actually bleached. Usually, imported garlic tends to be bleached and treaded with different chemicals which in fact are extremely harmful and illegal in the US, but people can still import them for some reason. Bleaching garlic is fairly common, most companies do this in order to make the garlic look whiter, and most people think that the whiter the garlic is the better it tastes.
When buying garlic make sure to look if it has been imported or not, if it is made in the USA then it should be good to go. On the other hand, if you see the roots completely removed from the garlic then this is a tell-tale sign that it has been imported and bleached as well, especially if the bottom of the garlic is white. If you have serious slug infestation then you might want to read my recent article How To Make Caffeine Spray For Slugs ( Fast & Easy ).
Creating The Garlic Spray
Mince the garlic or cut it into thin slices, as thin as you can possibly cut. Ideally, you should use fresh and organic garlic as these tend to have a higher content of water and allicin. Make sure to remove the hard shell completely from the garlic cloves. Ideally, take 3-4 cloves of garlic, the more garlic you use the higher the concentration of allicin will be in it thus being more effective against pests.
After that place the minced garlic in a cup of lukewarm water, and leave it for the night. After around 12 hours the garlic spray can be used, just place the water and the pieces of minced garlic into a spraying bottle and spray it on and around your plants.
Adding Dish Soap
If you have decided to add dish soap to your garlic spray then make sure that the dish soap is actually organic. The idea behind this method is that the dish soap will cling to the plants a lot easier and the sprayed garlic will stay on the leaves a lot longer. There is some truth to that but, in certain cases, this can do more harm than good. Dish soap is excellent at dissolving oil, and some plants do produce their own oil as a protective layer, removing it might stunt the growth of the plants. If you are using grass clippings as mulch then you have probably noticed that tends to attract a lot of garden pests for more information check out my recent article Grass Clippings As Mulch Pros And Cons ( Top 16 Pros and Cons ).
Some people tend to marinate the garlic in oil, although water works the best. The reason why some people also add oil to the garlic spray is that the oil will help the spray to stick to the plant thus making it more effective. If you are going to use oil in your garlic spray then make sure to add some organic dish soap, as water and oil do not mix at all without it. I personally only use minced garlic in water, no need to overcomplicate things.
Do Not Boil The Garlic
I see a lot of people recommending boiling the garlic for several minutes, as this extracts the allicin better. The truth is that by boiling the garlic you will do more harm than good as while the garlic is boiling it will destroy some of the garlic’s vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and so on. A boiled garlic spray will still be effective, but to make it as potent as possible against pests you should avoid boiling it.
Do Not Add Hot Pepper
A lot of people tend to add hot pepper or its powder to the garlic spray, especially if they are making the garlic spray for slugs and snails. The idea behind it is that the hot pepper is so spicy and hot that the pests will not come close to it. The ingredient in hot peppers that makes them hot is capsaicin, this is the stuff that fools your brain into thinking that your mouth is on fire. The truth is that capsaicin only has this effect on mammals, so humans and animals, bugs, critters, and slugs are not affected by it at all.
How Often To Use The Garlic Spray?
How often you should use the garlic spray depends on how potent it actually is. Generally speaking, you should spray your plants and the surrounding areas about once a week. If you have a serious pest infestation of slugs and caterpillars then you might want to use it twice a week. Make sure to use the garlic spray in the evening, as during the nighttime most bugs, slugs, and snails will come out to feast on your garden.
- Start by peeling and crushing several cloves of garlic. The more cloves you use, the stronger the spray will be. You can use a garlic press or simply mince the cloves with a knife.
- Place the crushed garlic in a container and add water. The general ratio is about 1 part garlic to 5 parts water. For example, if you used 5 cloves of garlic, add them to 25 ounces (750 ml) of water. Stir the mixture well to ensure the garlic is evenly distributed.
- Allow the garlic mixture to steep for at least 24 hours, but up to several days for a stronger solution. The longer it steeps, the more potent the spray will be. After steeping, strain the mixture using a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any solid garlic pieces.