Does garlic repel mosquitoes?

Garlic is said to repel other bloodsuckers… (vampires), so perhaps the suburban myth that garlic repels mosquitoes is a distortion of this fairy tale!

Snakespirit, when you start a thread, it’s helpful to other readers if you provide a link to the Column or Staff Report being discussed. Saves search time, and helps keep us all on the same page.

In this case, the Staff Report will appear on Tuesday next week (Sept 7), but is available early to those on the Mailing List. So, here’s the link that was sent out on Friday (Sept 3) to those on the Mailing List: Straight Dope Staff Report: Does garlic repel mosquitoes?

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Doug works for DEET? :dubious:

j/k, good article.

However, I have a related Q

When I am alone outside, I may get bitten by mousquitos. When with any other person, though, I rarely get bit. All (or most) of the mousquitos go to the other person(s). Do those little buggers have some form of sense which allows them to pick and choose?

A related question to the related question: are some people more suceptable to mosquito attacks then others? I’ve yet to find a mosquito repellent that has any effect on me. Because of the article, I’ll look for products containing DEET the next time I’m in mosquito country but I was just curious.

I have no idea of the efficacy of various sprays containing garlic, but I do note that in the report that Dex said garlic has a short term effect.

Speaking anecdotally, but from personal experience, I can tell you that two raw cloves of garlic (chopped up and swallowed like a pill) with each meal (6 a day) seems to do an excellent job of warding off mosquitos. I used this while camping in Vermont and Maine during the summer. You won’t really get any effect until the second day, but after that the mosquitos wouldn’t touch me. Of course, the side effect is that your whole body puts off an unpleasant garlic smell.

I take it that you have no Italian heritage…

Or perhaps you are a vampyre??? : vampire smiley :

My 100% French SO loves to cook Italian (go figger), so I get a ‘bit’ of garlic in my menu, but far from 2 cloves/day. I live in beautiful downtown Kahaluu, Oahu, Hawaii (town consists of 1 general store), considered to be the wettest spot on Oahu, and the skeeters know it.

Typically, going out the back door, in shorts, I will have 10-20 mosquitoes on my calves, and a few on my arms and neck. Worse than Maine! We got a propane/electric Mosquito Eliminator, and it has reduced their number (except in the immediate vicinity of the trap, where they are attracted). It helps a lot, and works better than the mosquito deleto, which relies on them landing on a sticky pad.

Here, the so-called "mosquito plant’ is useless. DEET is the best, but I hate oily chemicals on me. Skin-so-soft works, but not as effectively as DEET products.

I think living here so long I have developed an immunity to their poison; I do not swell up or itch when I am bitten, so most times I just feed them, and kill them by hand when I feel I’m being bitten.

I’d use a garlic rub if it worked. I’ll try it and report back. be patient, I’m super lazy.

Only if they have been dining on vampires. :rolleyes: :dubious: :eek: :smiley:

Like Scylla was saying, this is from my own experience also, when I consume garlic regularly the mosquitos don’t seem to bother me nearly as much as someone with me that doesn’t. I cook a lot with garlic and on a regular basis. But from time to time when I slack off on the garlic it seems the mosquitos bother me more. I don’t know about a rub or spray. I think it actually has to do with consuming the stuff. My dad swears by it. He takes a garlic supplement everyday and mosquitos won’t go near him.

For the yard…spray it with a little Malathion. That’ll get rid of the little bloodsuckers. :wink:

Just to clarify, Scylla, that Report was NOT written by me (Dex) but by Doug, who holds the esteemed title of Entomologist Extraordinary and Bug-ologist Plenipoent of the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board.

Yeah, I guess the names sound sort of alike. But he like bugs, and I don’t.