Repel pesky mosquitoes without using any potentially harmful chemicals by making a homemade mosquito repellent spray. Garlic is among your most powerful weapons in the fight against these biting pests, because the naturally occurring sulfur in garlic sends mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and black flies heading for the hills. Typically, the human nose doesn't detect the smell of garlic after a few minutes of spraying it. Mosquitoes can detect the scent for weeks, making it a long-lasting choice for spraying on the foliage of plants surrounding your patio or outdoor living space.
Option 1: Homemade Garlic-Infused Insect Repellent
This garlicky spray from Birds & Blooms is an organic and cost-effective way to keep mosquitoes and other harmful pests out of your garden. The garlic repels mosquitoes while the the mineral oil and dish detergent help it stick to the plants you spray it on, giving you lasting results.
Step 1 Soak Garlic
Add 4 cloves of minced garlic to a jar with approximately 1 teaspoon of mineral oil. Let the mixture soak for about one day.
Step 2 Strain
Pour the mixture into a sieve placed over a bowl to strain the garlic out of the oil.
Step 3 Add Soap and Water
Make a garlic concentrate by combining the infused oil with 1 teaspoon of dish soap mixed with a pint of water.
Step 4 Dilute and Use
Dilute 2 tablespoons of the concentrated mixture in a spray bottle filled with 1 pint of water. Shake the bottle lightly to mix everything together and spray it on plants to repel mosquitoes from your outdoor space.
Option 2: Homemade Repellent for Plants and People
Without the oil and dish soap, garlic makes a lighter concoction that's ideal for repelling harmful bugs on plants or on people without the smothering side effects that can kill insects that come in contact with the mineral oil mixture. The garlic itself won't kill beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies, but it does effectively repel mosquitoes. Additionally, it's safe for pets and children.
Step 1 Steep Garlic
Crush 4 to 6 cloves of garlic and add to a saucepan filled with 1 quart of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low to release the garlic's essential oils -- typically within 10 to 20 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
Step 2 Strain
Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl to strain out the chunks of garlic. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Step 3 Spray
Add the garlic water to a spray bottle. Apply it to plant foliage to repel mosquitoes and other insects in the garden. To use on people, simply apply a light mist on exposed skin.