Malaria, a blood-born parasite carried by mosquitoes, is a serious threat to tropical populations. Very little can be done by many rural villagers to prevent malaria, except for the use of mosquito repellents. As it turns out, garlic is a very good mosquito repellent used in Mexico, India, and other places under the threat of malaria.
"Garlic, taken internally or on the skin, is a fairly effective mosquito repellent" (Franz 218). "Many studies have been done on this subject. It has never been scientifically shown that eating garlic will repel mosquitoes. Spraying garlic on foliage does keep mosquitoes from the sprayed area however" (Mosquito). "For an unforgettable lotion, mix a handful of crushed garlic in half a cup of oil...Let this soak for a week to 10 days and then strain. Add several drops of penny-royal oil...crushed eucalyptus leaves...and parsley to reduce the garlic odor" (Franz 218).
"A mosquito's sense of smell is about 10,000 times better than yours and they are able to locate humans because they detect the carbon dioxide given off by us" (Mosquito). Garlic repellents emit a strong odor that discourage the mosquito from biting. Furthermore, "since mosquitoes are soft-bodied insects the garlic juice can be very toxic to them in increased concentrations". However, it requires "a very powerful variety which is much more potent than the garlic found in grocery stores (in fact, the lab people refer to it as "super garlic"). Garlic has a natural sulfur which repels insects, including mosquitoes, ticks and fleas" (Garlic).
Further research may develop a way to effectively produce a garlic that naturally repels and terminates mosquitoes in areas of the world where malaria proliferates.
Franz, Carl, Lorena Havens & Steve Rogers. The People's Guide to Mexico.
Garlic Mosquito Barrier. http://www.dirtworks.net/Mosquito-Barrier.html. 26 June 2009.
Mosquito Barrier: Facts and Frequently Asked Questions. http://www.mosquitobarrier.com/facts.html. 26 June 2009.