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The Surprising Way to Keep Japanese Beetles Out of Your Garden

Japanese beetles feast on a leaf.

If you’ve been gardening for a while, you’re probably familiar with Japanese beetles. These metallic green and copper-colored insects have a voracious appetite and love to feast on your precious plants. They strip foliage, turning your once lush garden into a battleground.

Thankfully, you don’t have to rely on chemical pesticides to keep Japanese beetles away. You can simply use garlic.

Garlic has long been hailed for its culinary and medicinal properties, but that’s not the only purpose this versatile ingredient serves. Its pungent aroma holds remarkable insect-repelling qualities. 

The strong scent of garlic acts as a natural deterrent for many garden pests, including Japanese beetles. When applied correctly, garlic can create an invisible barrier that keeps these unwelcome guests at a distance. It’s a natural pesticide.

Vitamix Propel Series 750 Blender

If you don't yet have a blender in your kitchen, then get ready for the Vitamix to change your life.

Creating a homemade bug repellent with garlic is easy and cost-effective. The recipe is nearly impossible to mess up. All you need is some water, dish soap, a head of garlic, a way to blend everything, and a strainer.

Begin by peeling your garlic cloves and placing them in a blender or food processor along with a cup of water. If you don’t have a blending appliance like this, you can use a stick blender or finely chop and crush the garlic by hand.

Blend the mixture, then pour it into a container through a strainer or cheesecloth. This will remove all the solid pieces, allowing you to collect your garlic water mixture. Next, take your strained garlic chunks and blend them again with more water and a few drops of dish soap

Strain out the solid chunks again, combine your liquids, and let that marinate overnight. When the garlic, soap, and water mixture has had a chance to sit for a while, pour it into a spray bottle and get ready to apply to your plants.

Empty Amber Glass Spray Bottles

These bottles are the perfect carrier for your DIY bug repelling spray.

The garlic will act as a bug deterrent for your plants while the soap will help the mixture adhere to your plants. Spray your garlic mixture on your plant’s foliage and anywhere else you see signs of Japanese beetle activity.

For the best results, be sure to fully cover your plant foliage, including the underside of their leaves. The garlic odor will dissipate over time, so it’s essential to reapply the repellent every few days or after rain to maintain its effectiveness.

Incorporating garlic repellent into your gardening routine can be a game-changer in keeping pests away. So, the next time you spot these shimmering beetles in your garden, harness the full power of garlic to maintain a beautiful and pest-free outdoor space.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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