“Swarms of Mosquitoes on my patio led me to an old home remedy – Did you know that chopped up garlic makes mosquitoes disappear? I buy minced, dried garlic at local Fiesta grocery stores and sprinkle it around on my patio. I have to stand back as I am using it – mosquitoes will literally swarm out of your plants and bushes to get away from the smell. Works like a charm!!”
Can really something as simple as a jar of garlic save your outdoor time from bloodsuckers?
Not really. You see mosquitoes sense of smell isn’t as strong as we tend to think it is. The scent of garlic DOES offer some protection from mosquitoes, but it only lasts about 30 minutes before the scent fades enough to no longer deter them. But to people, who sense of smell is stronger, we’ll be smelling the garlic far longer than they would. Not exactly a smell anyone wants to spend their evenings on the patio smelling ether.
The same goes for eating garlic. Studies have been done on this and it’s been proven to not be an effective means of putting off mosquitoes. You can read a great New York Times article about it here.
So what are you to do when you want to spend the evenings outside? Well you can go the chemical route with a DEET-laced bug spray, which can last hours. But if you’re looking for a more natural alternative route you’re best bet is a time tested classic: citronella. It’s made from the oils of lemongrass and has been proven to work as a bug deterrent. Plus it comes in so many different forms, ranging from candles to sprays and oils, so a quick application to your skin, and then light a candle or oil burner and you should have a relatively pest free evening.
Oh, and in case you had planned to spend the evening outside sipping on a refreshing beer or crisp riesling, a word to the wise: mosquitoes are actually MORE attracted to people with alcohol in their system than they are to those without. So light a citronella candle if you plan to be enjoying your wine outside.