The One Food To Eat If You Hate Midges And Mosquitoes

At this point, I'll try anything.
Ali Majdfar via Getty Images

Want to hear some thrilling news? Experts expect a midge baby boom late this summer in the UK – with Scotland hit extra hard.

Only about 150 species of midges of the 500-or-so options out there actually bite, and even though all mosquitoes love the taste of blood, both species have an important role to play in our ecosystem. But that doesn’t mean they have to play it so close to my arm in particular, thanks very much.

While ecologist Dr. Henry Disney says that the most effective way to banish the bug’s bites is by wearing netting that’s infused with DEET over your clothes, a full-on fishnet ’fit is a little full-on for most people.

Essential oils like citronella, lavender, and eucalyptus, long-sleeved clothing, and insect repellants can all help to get rid of midges.

And it turns out that another bite-repelling hack could already be lying in your kitchen.

Here’s the best food to repel midges and mosquitoes, how to use it, and why it works.

Midges hate garlic

I’m sorry, but sucking blood? Liking dark clothes? Hating garlic? Mosquitoes and midges are starting to sound pretty vampiric to me.

And weirdly, the reasoning is sort of similar to our distaste of the smell. No, the bugs don’t kiss each other (thank God actually? What a haunting image). But the scent does stop them from reproducing with one another – yes, really.

This happens because thiols (the group of sulfurs which gives garlic its signature smell) “interfere with their reproductive efficiency,” say The Herald.

Poor garlic seems unable to escape its reputation as the least amorous aromatic around.

OK, so – do I just chew garlic, then?

Thankfully, no (good news for your own “reproductive efficiency”).

Just as you don’t need to chow down on some raw bulbs to smell garlicky to humans, adding plenty of garlic to your dinner should be enough to cause the smell to leak through your pores; though the effects of this are likely to be mild.

But if you absolutely hate the stuff, that’s OK – you don’t actually need to eat any at all.

If you don’t want your next barbecue to be beset by bugs, Hayes Garden World suggests you “Cut the bulbs into small pieces and scatter (them) around the seating or BBQ area.”

You can also grow the plant yourself (side note – wild garlic produces some gorgeous flowers).

Noted. Anything else I can do?

Yes! Lots!

“Mosquito repellents containing DEET are still your best bet for avoiding mosquitoes,” says Colombia State University. You can nab these over the counter or online in the UK.Other pro-approved hacks include:

  • Wearing light colours
  • Wearing long-sleeved tops
  • Essential oils like citronella, lavender, and eucalyptus
  • Use a fan
  • Have a barbecue (yes, really – the smoke repels them)

Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to make some very pungent pasta...