How To Make Garlic Spray for Grasshopper Repellent

Grasshoppers are highly destructive pests that usually attack plants, crops, and flowers in hordes. Grasshopper outbreaks are common in different parts of the United States, particularly during hot summers. Surprisingly, a trusty kitchen ingredient offers one of the most effective methods in getting rid of these pesky critters for good – good ol’ garlic.

Here’s how to make garlic spray for grasshopper repellent:

  1. Peel 4-8 cloves of garlic.
  2. Pour into a blender and add water.
  3. Transfer into a glass jar and leave overnight. 
  4. Strain the liquid into a spray bottle. 
  5. Spray liberally all over your plants. 
  6. Reapply after every rainfall and after each watering.

In this article, I will show you a simple recipe for making garlic spray repellent for grasshoppers and other garden pests. We will also discuss why grasshoppers are attracted to your garden and a few other natural ways to drive grasshoppers away.

The Effectiveness of Garlic Against Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers, as well as many other types of garden pests, hate the smell of garlic. Garlic spray will drive away unwanted insects from your garden to enjoy healthy, thriving plants and a good crop harvest.

Grasshoppers in the Garden

A few grasshoppers here and there will not harm your garden. They are beneficial insects since they also serve as food for larger predators, like birds and lizards, that feed on garden pests.

However, a swarm of grasshoppers can decimate your garden quickly by feasting on your vegetables, fruits, and flowers. 

Adult grasshoppers can eat as much as 16 times their body weight daily. They devour leaves, stems, fruits, and flowers, devoiding plants of the ability to sustain themselves. Telltale signs of a grasshopper infestation are ragged holes through your plants’ leaves, stems, fruits, and vegetables. 

Garlic as a Repellent

Garlic is known to work as an insecticide only on soft-bodied pests, such as slugs, snails, and aphids. Although concentrated garlic oil is an effective insecticide when in direct contact with soft-bodied pests, it will not kill larger insects with tough outer shells like grasshoppers.

Garlic spray acts more like a repellent. It keeps grasshoppers at bay mainly because of its unpleasant scent. When you spray it on a plant, the leaves absorb the odor, and grasshoppers will avoid the plant.

It is entirely organic, so you can rest assured that it won’t harm your plants. It is also safe around people and pets. 

Garlic spray is a low-cost and safe alternative to commercially available synthetic insecticides, which indiscriminately kill even beneficial insects. One downside of garlic spray is that it can also repel beneficial insects.

Nevertheless, it becomes a useful grasshopper repellent with proper preparation and application.

Preparation and Application

Making a garlic spray pest repellent is easy. Here are the things you’ll need:

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 6 cups (1.5 liters) of water
  • a few drops of liquid dish soap
  • a blender or food processor
  • a clear glass jar
  • a strainer
  • a spray bottle

1. Peel 4-8 Cloves of Garlic

Hardneck garlic varieties have fewer cloves and stronger flavors and scents than softneck varieties. I recommend using four cloves if you have a hardneck variety like ‘Porcelain’ or ‘Purple Stripes’. Alternatively, use eight cloves if you have a softneck like ‘Artichoke’ or ‘Silverskin’.

2. Pour Into a Blender and Add Water

Use a cup (250 ml) of clean, filtered water and blend the garlic until the mixture appears uniform. Add 5 more cups (1.25 l) of water and about 5 drops of liquid dish soap and blend again.

You can also mince the garlic or use a food processor. Be sure to grind the garlic dry when using a food processor. Once finely minced or ground, you can add the garlic to 6 cups of water and 5 drops of dish soap in a separate jar and mix well.

3. Transfer Into A Glass Jar and Leave Overnight

Pour the mixture into a clean, glass jar and cover it with a lid. This will ensure the mixture is protected from contaminants like dirt, dead insects, or dust.

Allow the elements to mix well and the solid components to settle overnight at room temperature.

4. Strain the Liquid Into a Spray Bottle

Choose a spray bottle or pump sprayer that emits a fine mist or spray. Remember that you will need to spray the garlic mixture directly on your plants. A fine mist will be gentler for plants, especially those with soft leaves, and will help avoid damage and tears.

Store any unused mixture in a lidded container inside the fridge. 

5. Spray Liberally All Over Your Plants

Spray directly on your plants and soil. Pay particular attention to the undersides of leaves and in the areas where petioles, stems, and leaves meet.

These are favorite hiding spots for grasshoppers and many other kinds of pests. These are also the areas where some of them may have lain their eggs.

6. Reapply After Every Rainfall and After Each Watering

You will need to reapply the garlic spray for maximum potency. Do this after each time you water your plants. Make sure to reapply as well after rainfall.

Reapplication helps ensure that grasshoppers find your plants unappealing so that they simply move on without damaging your garden. 

Grasshopper Reproduction and Behavior

Grasshoppers have high reproductive rates, with females capable of laying 200-400 eggs each season. You may be wondering what keeps grasshoppers coming back year after year, and your garden being an ideal breeding ground may be one of the reasons why.

They are a problem in warmer states such as Texas and Florida, but you may find them anywhere in the states as they comprise 400 species. There are certain things you can do that will help keep them away from your plants and crops.

Here are some pointers:

Great at Hiding

Grasshoppers like hiding in dense vegetation. Little nooks and crannies provide them shelter and protection from predators, such as birds, chickens, spiders, or lizards. These are also excellent locations for laying their eggs. 

Make it a habit to pull out weeds and any unwanted growth from your garden. This cleaning out is a great way to deprive grasshoppers and other pests of convenient hiding spots.

Weeding is also beneficial in keeping your plants healthy since weeds, and unwanted growth naturally take their share of the essential nutrients and minerals in the soil.

Vulnerable to Predators

Having no predators in your garden is like putting up a welcome sign for grasshoppers to go ahead and feast on your plants.

Some of their natural predators are:

  • Birds
  • Spiders
  • Frogs
  • Lizards
  • Chickens

To naturally eliminate grasshoppers from your garden:

  • Encourage a healthy ecosystem in your garden, and keep pesky grasshoppers at bay by inviting natural predators in.
  • Consider installing bird baths or birdhouses around your garden. Birds are excellent deterrents for grasshoppers. 
  • Build a pond to attract frogs so they can frolic and snack on grasshoppers once in a while.
  • Leave spider webs alone, especially if they’re not a nuisance since spiders are great at catching pests, including grasshoppers. 
  • Lay out basking rocks to attract lizards since they love feasting on insects, including grasshoppers.

Big Appetite

Grasshoppers aren’t picky eaters, but they have a preference for certain plants and crops, including:

  • Corn
  • Alfalfa
  • Clover
  • Grasses
  • Small grains (oats, barley, wheat, rye, or rice)

If you have these in your garden, you’ll be attracting swarms of grasshoppers yearly. You can avoid planting these in your garden, but if they are among your staples, consider using plant nettings

Manufacturers design plant nettings for various purposes, so make sure you choose those intended to keep pesky grasshoppers away. Pay special attention to how you install them over your plants. Grasshoppers can be sneaky and might figure out a way to get to your plants if you leave ample spaces for them to hop through. 

Other Simple Ways to Get Rid of Grasshoppers

These voracious plant eaters can quickly destroy an entire garden. Keeping the grasshopper population in control is essential to keep your vegetables, fruits, and flowers safe. There are many ways to do so, and some methods are incredibly simple.

Here are some of the tried and tested ones:

Add Hot Peppers to the Garlic Spray

Grasshoppers detest the fiery taste of peppers. Combining these two ingredients – garlic and peppers – is a surefire way to keep these ravenous insects off your plants and away from your garden.

Add about 3 minced medium-sized peppers to the mix before blending with water. Any variety of hot peppers will do. The hotter, the better! 

Get Chickens as Pets

Chickens love feasting on grasshoppers, their larvae, and many other insects and pests. Having chickens as pets helps ensure that the grasshopper population in your garden every summer is always in check. 

In the winter, you can count on them to search for grasshopper eggs and larvae in the ground. A bonus is that you and your family can enjoy farm-fresh eggs every morning for breakfast. 

Dust Your Plants With Flour

All-purpose flour is a natural insecticide that attacks a grasshopper’s digestive system. Simply dust a light flour coating on your plant’s leaves and stems. 

Make sure to use only all-purpose flour and not any other flour with additives such as salt and sugar. These extra ingredients may be harmful to your plants.

You will have to reapply flour dust after watering your plants and after each rainfall. 

Final Thoughts

Grasshoppers have such voracious appetites that they can devour almost all the leaves in a plant, rendering it incapable of photosynthesis. Without photosynthesis, a plant will wither and die.

Garlic spray will help drive these pests away from your garden because they hate how it smells and tastes. A light coating of this potent insect repellent will help keep your plants healthy and beautiful.

Dr. Moritz Picot

Dr. Moritz Picot is a horticulture enthusiast and the founder of TheGrowingLeaf.com, where he serves as the lead content writer. He established the website in 2022 as a valuable resource for both gardening aficionados and beginners, compiling all the gardening tips he has accumulated over the past 25 years. Alex has a passion for nurturing plants, transforming backyards into inviting spaces, and sharing his knowledge with the world.

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