Does Garlic Help Against Aphids?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:55 pm

Aphids are the biggest enemy of every amateur gardener. They mainly infest young shoots, buds and also leaf undersides of a wide variety of plants from May to autumn. Even after a short time they can cause a lot of damage. Especially in warm and dry weather, an epidemic can quickly occur. The aphids do not have to be fought immediately with chemical means. Helpful against aphids here can also be various home remedies, such as garlic.

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Aphids lay their eggs as early as winter for the first population in spring. The most common plant pest sucks the sweet sap from young leaves and shoots of many plants with its stinging mouthparts. Within a very short time, it can thus form huge colonies. The yellow, green, reddish or black creepy-crawlies are only a few millimeters in size and sometimes barely visible to the naked eye. Their life expectancy is not very long. However, this time is perfectly sufficient for them to multiply as quickly and as much as possible.
The sucking causes lasting damage to the affected plants and can result in the transmission of dangerous pathogens such as viruses. In order to fight aphids, chemical means do not always have to be used. Against an infestation of aphids, the use of biological home remedies, for example garlic, is usually quite effective. In the case of a light infestation, however, it is sometimes sufficient to use

  • a jet of water or
  • wiping off the suckers with the fingers

Does Garlic Help Against Aphids?

Houseplants can be treated next to it all around in an inclined position with a hair dryer. The flightless aphids are not exactly very mobile to then attack again. On the other hand, in the case of a heavy infestation, dips, broths and teas prove to be very beneficial. The use of garlic has proved particularly effective in combating aphids. It can be used in various ways. By the way, regular use of garlic against aphids can often provide the plants with additional important minerals.

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Note: If nothing helps to drive away the aphids in the long term, it may be helpful to change the location of the affected plant.

Early detection of aphid infestation

Before using proven household remedies such as garlic (Allium sativum) against aphids, the infestation must be detected in good time. To do this, it is important to check plants regularly. The first signs of the appearance of these creepy-crawlies are

  • crippled, yellowed or curled leaves
  • increased number of fallen buds
  • poor growth of the plant
  • formation of a black fungus-like mold on infested parts of the plant, and
  • a sticky coating (honeydew) on the leaves.

Note: Honeydew is the sugary excretions of aphids. It is a food source for ants. These and also wasps are attracted by it.

Ants can form a symbiosis with aphids. In doing so, they transport the suckers directly to the plants. This can easily be remedied by

  • lower plant parts (branches, leaves) are cut back
  • these must no longer touch the ground
  • lower parts of stems and stems are provided with sticky substances, adhesive tape, resin or glue rings.

Garlic against aphids

Yet somewhat severe aroma of the spice and medicinal plant has a repellent effect on aphids. The root bulb itself contains various sulfur compounds. These are formed by chemical reactions, such as the conversion of alliin to allicin, and cause the typical smell of garlic. The application of garlic against aphids can be done in several ways

Use of garlic leaves

application of garlic cloves in the soil and
application of decoction or tea from the bulb

Tip: Garlic also helps control maggots, mites, slugs and caterpillars. Even against mildew it is an effective home remedy.

Garlic leaves for minor infestations

Even spice bulbs planted in the garden can be used preventively to fight parasites. Especially if the entire garden area is not infested with them, the leaves can find use. These are then simply wrapped around the stem or stalk of the plants concerned. The small suckers are then driven away by the exuding smell. Incidentally, fresh garlic bulbs can then be harvested at the end of the gardening season.

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Garlic cloves in the soil

In the garden, animal predators such as ladybugs or lacewings are often used to control aphids. With houseplants, this is somewhat difficult. A remedy for this can be garlic cloves in the soil around the plant. However, it should be said that this method is only helpful if the plants are not yet infested with aphids. It is purely a preventive measure. The procedure is as follows:

Peel the garlic cloves

then stick them into the soil directly next to the root area.
Normally, the cloves should still protrude halfway out of the soil. So the essential oils of the garlic can distribute themselves then by the air movements also well around the plants. However, the smell should then not be very pleasant for plants in the room. Therefore, it is advisable for indoor plants to cover the toes lightly with soil. The active ingredients are then first absorbed by the roots and thus reach all other parts of the plant. However, there is a possibility that the toes will start to rot. A garlic decoction or tea has proven to be more effective in combating these plant pests.

Tip: Garlic bulbs planted between roses, strawberries and around the vegetable patch, also provides effective protection against fungal diseases.

Garlic decoction for severe aphid infestation.
A decoction of garlic cloves is very easy to make yourself. For this you need

  • 50 g fresh garlic cloves
  • 5 liters of water
  • a suitably large pot
  • a sieve and
  • a spray bottle

Once everything is in place, you can move on to making the broth. This is usually quite simple.

  • Finely chop the cloves
  • either pour boiling water over them or boil them briefly in it
  • leave the brew to infuse for at least three hours
  • then strain
  • fill the cooled liquid into a spray bottle

Infested plants can then be sprayed with this broth every five to ten days. This process should be repeated until there are no more aphids. Outdoors, the scent of this natural product dissipates very quickly. Alternatively, three large cloves of garlic can be peeled and halved, and then put in a bottle. This is filled with a liter of water and placed in a dry place for 14 days. After that, the broth is strained. It is then ready for use.

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Instead of garlic against lice, onions can also be used. They achieve the same effect in driving away aphids. This smell and ingredients are also avoided by the suckers.

Tip: The addition of a teaspoon of chili powder makes the garlic decoction even more effective.

Before it now goes to the fight against aphids and other parasites, so for the sake of the environment should not always be considered immediately chemical pesticides. Many biological home remedies such as garlic or rapeseed oil can achieve the same effect against aphids. By the way, you save the environment and these means are also quite inexpensive compared to commercially available chemical agents.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts. Jones James

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