Mosquitoes are typically considered a pest and a nuisance, particularly from early Spring until late Fall. Their natural tendency to feed off the blood of the innocent bystander has led people to all sorts of measures, including ingesting garlic to fend off these bothersome insects. But how effective is garlic as a mosquito repellant?
The idea that garlic can repel mosquitos most likely stems from its strong odor. The University of Connecticut Health Center compared people that ate a notable amount of garlic to a control group that did not eat garlic and found no significant difference between the number of bites received.
There are interventions supported by evidence, including wearing long-sleeved clothing, emptying standing water containers indoors and outdoors, and using insect repellant that can help deter mosquitoes and other minor menaces for a limited time. The repellant affects the insect’s senses, as they primarily use carbon dioxide output and body heat that they detect from humans to determine which individual to target. Next time you plan on going outside, it is best to consider putting on some bug spray rather than consuming the garlic in your kitchen.