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I was reading about how Garlic keeps insects away, and was wondering if just growing garlic in the garden will keep insects like Mosquitoes away.

  • flowering garlic attracts small pollinators. Never seemed to repel anything. Where did you see this? – kevinsky Apr 26 '16 at 10:44
  • It's commonly asserted. – Graham Chiu Apr 26 '16 at 19:22
  • I agree with these guys. Never have seen any research to prove this. Natural pesticide. Quite a few of the most potent of pesticides can also be classified as Natural. But marigolds, garlic, onions, lemon balm...whatever just don't make it through any trials scientific or homemade as even a deterrent. Why do you need a pesticide? Best is prevention. For mosquitos make dang sure there are no containers holding rainwater, bird baths should be drained and replenished often. That is priceless prevention for mosquitos. Check on your neighbors if you can... – stormy Apr 26 '16 at 21:50
  • @GrahamChiu the link states correctly that it can be used as a contact pesticide with some residual activity against insects that eat plants. It does not make any claims that garlic will repel female mosquitoes who are more interested in mammals for their meals – kevinsky Apr 26 '16 at 23:45
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As far as I can tell, there is very little empirical data on garlic and mosquitoes. And all of the studies I have seen show mixed results for ingesting garlic or using garlic as a mosquito repellent.

That leaves you with anecdotal evidence, so here's mine. My garlic patch used to be 30 some feet from my deck. A few years ago, I moved it so it is now just a few feet off the deck. I have seen absolutely no change in the number of mosquitoes that swarm us when we are out.

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From my research, sort of. The garlic plant itself does not keep bugs away but when you make a paste or spray garlic water onto the plants that acts a lot like the pesticide that can be used. It helps keep them away, which is nice. It can also keep away snakes from above. You can even use this to help keep moles, voles, and ground hogs from getting to the roots. All you have to do for that is put the garlic into the tunnels crushed. These critters are very sensitive to the smell, keeping them away. Great thing is, If you do plant the garlic that is there best use, they keep them away! In the end, planting them does not keep the bugs away but they do help with moles, voles ground hogs and snakes. Garlic flavored water and garlic past keeps the bugs away from your garden. Hope this helps!

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    I see lots of hearsay articles about snakes being repelled by garlic but not a single academic reference or even one from a zoo. Do you have any references from universities, zoos, biologists? – kevinsky Apr 26 '16 at 23:49
  • I get this from many friends and there is research out there done to prove it. I tried it and I did fix my problem. I do not have any reference for you off the top my head... – Ljk2000 Apr 27 '16 at 1:14
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huge mosquito target here. I've tried almost everything to keep mosquitoes away from me.

There is some anecdotal, and my personal evidence, of keeping insect pests away using garlic and other "smelly" herbs planted near other plants. The problem is, it only works in about a 6" diameter circle in perfectly still weather. Any breeze at all blows away the fumes the insects find noxious. The same applies to citronella candles and citronella spray.

So in practical terms, you can try it to keep insect pests away from plants that are very close to the garlic, but don't expect miracles. There are too many factors at work here.

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