Does Garlic Repel Mosquitos?
There are two kinds of people: Those who seem invisible to mosquitos and those who attract them like unwanted attention at a dive bar. If you fall into the latter category, you've probably tried everything to make yourself more invisible. Citronella candles, a dryer sheet in your pocket, lavender-scented essential oils - what do these methods have in common? They all give off a strong scent that can mask the lactic acid and carbon dioxide your body naturally exudes, attracting those pesky flyers to feast on your blood. But what about the strongest odor of all, garlic? If it can repel Dracula, surely it can also repel those tiny flying bloodsuckers. Right?
The answer is maybe, but not for long.
Mosquitos find their victims through a highly sensitive sense of smell. They detect the lactic acid and carbon dioxide humans give off when we move around and breathe. All mosquito repellents work because they introduce some kind of odor that is strong enough to cover up our very human scent; masking our scent makes us invisible to those flying vampires so they'll hunt for prey elsewhere.
All this certainly makes the case for garlic as a natural mosquito repellent. And there is some evidence to support the idea. It might not be garlic's strong odor that is doing the heavy lifting here, though. Some studies suggest that garlic - like onions and other members of the alliaceae family - contains natural anti-microbial properties that mosquitos and other pests truly detest. Ingesting garlic or rubbing it on your skin, especially the soles of your feet, may infuse high amount of allicin into your blood, making you an unattractive candidate for bites.
The thing to consider, however, is that you also have to be around other humans who may be just as repelled by the stench of garlic emanating from your breath, skin or feet as the bugs are. The claims of garlic being a fool-proof pest repellent are far from watertight. In fact, there's no real proof that ingesting anything in particular will have any effect on mosquitos - with one exception: beer. There is some evidence suggesting that throwing back a few cold ones around the bonfire may attract mosquitos, though the reason is unclear.
The bottom line is that our genetics have more to do with how attractive we are to mosquitos than anything we might eat or drink. Just like at that dive bar, it's not us, it's them. If you're looking for a way to deal with the unwanted attention of flying pests in your backyard or around your business, the professionals at MosquitoNix® can help. We have deep knowledge of all the pesky creatures that bug you - mosquitos, gnats, fleas, ticks - and we even offer innovative all-natural solutions to your pest problems.
So instead of loading up on garlic bread or repelling your friends with garlic-rubbed feet, call the experts at MosquitoNix and start enjoying the outdoors again.