Garlic Bugs In Gardens: Information About Garlic Plant Pests


Garlic packs a robust aroma and flavor that many of us can’t do without. The good news is that garlic is fairly easy to grow and for the most part, is pest resistant. In fact, garlic is often a part of co-planting or companion planting, wherein garlic is grown alongside other plants to their mutual benefit. What are some common garlic pests and how can you control pests on garlic bulbs?

What are Common Garlic Pests?

Garlic has both natural fungicidal and pesticidal properties. That’s why many gardeners plant it near certain crops. Garlic contains the compound allicin, which is released when the cloves are crushed or bitten. Possibly, this is garlic’s defense mechanism, but whatever the case, it serves to deter some pests like aphids near lettuce. Apparently, they don’t love garlic as much as I do; they view it as more like the repellent it is to Dracula.

Even so, the plant may get garlic bugs that worship the bulb. Many of these garlic plant pests also plague onions, which are closely related to garlic.

Mites – Bulb mites are one example of pests found on garlic bulbs and other alliums. Off white in color, shiny and globular, they are found huddled together under the plants’ roots. Bulb mites reduce harvest and generally stunt plant growth. They can live from one growing season to the next, so it is recommended that you rotate plantings by skipping the allium varieties in successive years.

Leaf miners – Leaf miners (Liriomyza huidobrensis) are another pest found on garlic bulbs, first as eggs lain within the leaf tissue. The hatchlings are tiny, off-white larvae that then tunnel inside the leaves, leaving visible damage. Although the resulting leaf damage is primarily cosmetic, the presence of leaf miners may damage other leafy crops in the garden.

Wheat curl mites – Severe infestations of wheat curl mite can cause twisted, stunted leaf growth but its major impact is upon the bulb. Wheat curl mites (Eriphyes tulipae) can cause cloves to dry out. The mites act as a vector for Yellow Streak virus as well. The mites are so tiny; they are nearly invisible to the naked eye. Treating the mites is possible by dipping the seed garlic in hot water prior to planting.

Nematodes – A particularly insidious garlic bug is the nematode (Ditylenchus dipsaci), which lives and reproduces inside garlic plants. These microscopic worm-like pests eat all parts of the stems, leaves and bulbs. It can live without water and survive for many years in the soil. Nematode nibbling can result in deformation, discoloration and tissue collapse of the bulb.

The worst thing about garlic nematodes is that their population continues to expand exponentially for years with no visible signs of damage. What this means is that for years, healthy garlic plants will not be significantly affected but then all at once the astronomical nematode population will decimate the garlic crop.

Thrips – Lastly, thrips are the garlic plant’s most common pest. They suck the sap from the plants, gradually slowing growth and bulb production. If the infestation is severe, entire commercial garlic fields can wilt and die.

In additional to those above, garlic plants can, on occasion, be feasted on by snails.

Control of Garlic Insect Pests

Some of the above pests can be dealt with by applying commercially available pesticides. If you would rather use a more organic method, the first order of business is to practice crop rotation, not just for garlic, but for any alliums.

Also, seek out guaranteed clean seed. Practice strict sanitation and only use disease-free planting material. Sticky traps can be laid to entrap thrip migrations.

Garlic’s powerful aroma may also be a key player in garlic insect pest control. Garlic extract is used to treat some plants and for repelling pests such as slugs. Strangely, an application of garlic extract may be the key to thwarting nefarious insect armies and if your nose is up for it, certainly worth a try.


How to Control Insects With Garlic Plants

One of the most effective ways to control insects in the garden is to use garlic. Both the plants and bulbs are very useful in keeping unwanted pests away. Garlic sprays can be made to protect garden plants and just planting a garlic plant near another plant can deter harmful insects in an organic manner. Garlic protects flowers, most vegetables and some trees and shrubs.


Benefits of Garlic Spray

In my opinion, the biggest benefit of garlic spray is that it means you are NOT using other, more toxic pesticides in your garden. It’s an eco-friendly, green way to treat pest and disease problems.

The pungent smell that garlic is well-known for will kill or repel many of the more annoying garden pests, though it may also scare away some beneficial bugs as well.

But what makes it work so well against pests? The answer lies in the sulfur compounds found in garlic cloves. You might recognize sulfur as a powerful standalone fungicide, but when paired with allicin, a compound within garlic, it confuses insects by interfering with their sensory receptors.

If you have a case of powdery mildew or downy mildew, garlic spray can also treat it, which makes it a very versatile garden tool.


If you spot gray or white powdery spots on your plants, odds are you're dealing with some sort of mildew or fungus. To make a simple garlic fungicide, puree 5-10 garlic cloves with a pint of water in a blender, let steep for an hour, strain, and spray on plants. Garlic can also be used as an insecticide, so watch out for beneficial insects while spraying.


Plant Pest Control

A number of herbs deter pests that cause damage to plants. Incorporating these herbs into your garden can help protect the rest of your plants if they are located in close proximity. Chives, garlic, leeks, onions and shallots protect roses against aphids. Garlic plants repel Japanese beetles, weevils, fruit tree borers and spider mites. Growing basil alongside tomatoes protects the tomato plants against insects. Rosemary, sage and thyme repel cabbage moths, and mint protects against white cabbage moths. Rosemary and sage also repel carrot flies, and rosemary is effective against bean beetles. Spearmint controls aphids, and calendula repels a wide range of insects including asparagus beetles and tomato worms.


There are several types of methods to kill bugs in soil. In this article, we will mention the five most-effective ways to get rid of pests. We hope that you will find the most beneficial methods to save your indoor gardens from soil bugs.

Kill bugs manually

If you own a small vegetable garden, kill houseplant bugs manually is the traditional and best cost-effective method of all time. The downside of this method is that it requires an adequate amount of leisure time and patience for the best result. On the other hand, this following method will help you get rid of both cutworms, wireworms, root maggots, gnat larvae and ants.

To kill bugs manually, you will need:

  • Flashlight
  • Carrots
  • Beneficial nematodes
  • Yellow sticky cards

Now, it’s time to remove all those harmful houseplant insects in your garden soil:

  • The best time to remove cutworms is at night, where they are active the most. You can use a flashlight to spot brown cutworms that are chewing your seedling stems. Remove them by hand and kill them immediately.
  • Wireworm larvae can be caught by hand. Besides, you can use a carrot to entice wireworm. Bury a carrot in the soil for two or three days and replace it regularly to catch wireworms.
  • Beneficial insects like nematodes can be used to attack root maggots which attacks your plant roots. You can mix it with water and spray directly on garden soil for the best effect of pest controls.
  • Yellow sticky trap can capture flying creatures like adult fungus gnats, fruit flies, black flies. You should cut the card into small square pieces and place them on top of the soil.
  • Other common houseplant pests in a container garden like black bugs, flea beetles, and Japanese beetles can stick on the lower leaf surfaces, upper leaf surfaces or undersides of leaves and can be captured by hand.

Using chemical treatments

For larger gardens, kill bugs by hand is not a practical solution. You can use chemical insecticides to eliminate common houseplant insects such as sucking plant sap insects in soil. I recommend Bacillus thuringiensis as they can kill eggs of flying insects like fungus gnat larvae, tiny white bugs.

  • Chemical pesticides such as Spinosad or Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Protective clothing (long pants and long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and masks)
  • A garden sprayer

Steps to kill bugs in soil with chemical products

  • You should study the instruction on your product for the type of garden pests you want to remove.
  • Follow label instruction to dilute the chemical compounds with the right ratio of water.
  • Spray your entire garden with the dilution of insecticide. You should not apply insecticide on a hot and sunny day.

Home remedies for bugs killers

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a popular antiseptic products used in medical treatments. However, not many people know that it can also be used as a nontoxic bugs killer in organic gardens before planting. With its disinfect property, hydrogen peroxide can kill microbial insects.

You will need: 3-percent hydrogen peroxide, and a sprayer

Here is the detailed guide

  • Pour the hydrogen peroxide into a sprayer. You can dilute the solution by adding the same amount of water into it.
  • Spray the solution on the soil surface, especially the planting hole.
  • Spray the whole plant with the peroxide solution once per day for the best effect.

Use garlic, ginger and hot peppers

Three popular ingredients in the kitchen, garlic, ginger, and hot peppers, can kill beetles, aphids, and more houseplant pests. This mixture is an organic pest control that can lower the pest infestation. And you can have it right at your home.

Here is the needed things:

  • Fresh hot peppers
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Soap
  • A sprayer
  • A soft cloth and a big container

Six simple steps for a powerful organic pesticide

  • Cleanse ginger and crush it until smooth
  • Remove garlic outer layers and crush it with a blender
  • Mash peppers into the container and add a little water into it
  • Mix soap, garlic, ginger, and peppers all together
  • Let the mixture sit overnight with a loose cover
  • Strain the mixture with a cloth and add it into the sprayer

You can spray the mixture onto entire plant and soil once a day to kill indoor plant pests naturally. The best time to apply this organic insect killer is in the late afternoon when the sun is down, and bugs come out.

Use insecticidal soap

Insecticidal soap spray can be used in flower gardening and vertical gardening to kill spider mite, mites whiteflies. You can make this soap spray by mixing any types of oil extract with soapy water.

Another effective pest control is using neem oil, a horticultural oil from India. You can mix oil with rubbing alcohol and water for powerful oil sprays.

Prevention treatments

Other prevention treatments can be taken to kill pests in the soil of houseplants. They are the easy garden care that you should do daily to diminish the invasion of bugs in plant soil.

  • Sterile potting soil is the cause of bug invasion. Thus, strengthen the soil is the key to pest control.
    • You should limit the soil disturbance as it will lose the surface of the houseplants soil and can lead to severe erosion.
    • Using compost is a great way to fertilize the soil. You can strengthen the power of soil by adding green compost every spring, or adding compost in your potting mix.
    • Mulch is another additional element that can enhance the fertility of your plants soil. It will keep the moisture and lower the risk of erosion.
  • Crop rotation is a must to keep the bugs on the run. You should change the beds and environment frequently to kill unadaptable bugs.
  • You should also take good care of your garden. Watering covering crops, cleaning up falling leaves, and searching for bugs daily are the common tasks that should be performed.


Broad-Stroke Pest Control

Along with working to improve your soil and thus grow healthier, more pest-resistant plants, several other common-sense approaches echoed through the comments sections of our survey. “The best way to beat the bugs is to plant more than you can use yourself. You can always give the surplus away” (North Central/Rockies, six to 10 years of experience). Others pointed out the advantage of setting the stage for beneficial insects and then simply standing back. From the Midwest: “I am willing to overlook some bug damage in order to provide good habitat for the beneficials reproducing all though the gardening season.” From the South: “A balance of insects is the goal, and ‘good’ and ‘bad’ insects both have to eat.”


Watch the video: Garlic Juice Pesticide Recipe


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