Do Chives Keep Bugs Away?

Yes! Chives deter aphids, mites, beetles, and rabbits — a more significant garden pest.
Do Chives Keep Bugs Away
Do Chives Keep Bugs Away

Chives are a commonly used plant in many home gardens and landscapes, and it is often thought that they may have beneficial properties to help keep bugs away. But do chives help prevent pests from invading your garden or landscape?

Evidence shows that chives can repel specific bugs, such as mosquitoes, aphids, and other insects. The active ingredients in chives are known to contain compounds such as thiosulfate and saponins, which act as natural insect repellents.

Chive flowers also emit a scent that can turn away unwanted pests. Additionally, chive plants can be planted near vegetable gardens to help keep specific bugs at bay.

Overall, planting chives around the yard may be an effective method of fighting off some common bugs. However, more research must be done to determine the exact efficacy of this natural bug deterrent.

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Do Chives Keep Bugs Away? Understanding The Science Behind

Chives are a type of herb that is related to the onion family. They are perennial plants, meaning they can live up to six years or possibly more in one location if cared for properly.

The tall, thin leaves of the chive plant are bright green and are used as a seasoning in many types of cooking. The flowers of this plant also have culinary uses and appear in many dishes.

Chives add a mild onion flavor to various dishes and color and nutrition to salads, sauces, and dips.

In addition to their culinary uses, chives can help keep specific bugs away from gardens and homes. Chives contain high levels of essential oil called Allicin, an effective pesticide for insects like aphids, mealybugs, moths, and flies.

The essential oil’s aroma acts as both a repellent and poison against these insects – making chives an excellent natural bug repellent when planted around gardens or near doorways.

In addition, due to their low-maintenance requirements, they make an excellent natural alternative for pest control in urban areas such as patios or windowsills.

How do Chives Repel Bugs

Chives are a member of the onion family, known for their strong aromatic scent. People often use chives to add flavor to their meals, but did you know that chives can also be used to repel insects?

Chives are full of natural compounds that make them excellent natural repellents for pests like mosquitoes, Japanese beetles, and even aphids.

In this article, we’ll discuss how chives can be used to keep insects away:

Chives’ Sulfur Compounds

Chives are part of the Allium family, which includes garlic and onions, and all of these plants contain sulfur compounds that act as a natural defense against bugs.

While most bugs will find these sulfur compounds to be unpleasant, you’ll find that some may feast on them. While chives are good at deterring insects from your chickens, you might want to think twice before adding chives to your vegetable garden.

Sulfur is toxic to many plant-eating insects, but beneficial predator species like ladybugs feed on the sap-sucking species that would otherwise eat your veggies.

Chive’s strong odor can cause bugs to lose their appetite for other food sources nearby; aphids, flea beetles, and mites are among the most repelled by chives’ sulfur compounds.

However, beneficial and harmful insects can become overwhelmed by this chemical, making it ineffective or counterproductive in specific scenarios.

Chives also produce organic chemical compounds called flavonoids, which have unique antioxidant properties. These chemical substances have been found to play a role in the following:

  • Reducing bacterial growth on the leaves of chives
  • Providing an additional line of defense against harmful pests
  • Helping plants resist infestations and fungal diseases such as mildews and rusts that attack gardens year-round.

Chives’ Allicin Compounds

Chives are a member of the onion family, and like onions, their bulbs, leaves, and stalks contain allicin compounds.

These compounds help to ward off insects by giving off a robust and sulfur-like odor when chives are disturbed or broken. The odor naturally repels many different types of pests, including:

  • Ants
  • Aphids
  • Cabbage looper caterpillars
  • Japanese beetles
  • Carrot rust flies

Additionally, the chili pepper-like flavor further acts as a deterrent for many insects. Therefore, planting chives around your garden can be beneficial in helping to keep specific bug populations down and protect your crops.

However, because the effects of allicin compounds vary significantly between species of insects, some bugs may not find this odor unpleasant and may even be attracted to it!

Therefore, it’s important to remember that while chives can help repel some pests, they won’t necessarily keep all bugs away from your garden. Other methods may need to be employed depending on your specific insect threats.

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How to Use Chives to Repel Bugs

Chives are a great natural way to repel insects and other bugs. They are easy to find and plant, making them an ideal solution for those looking for a less chemical-based way to keep their gardens bug-free.

This article will look at how to use chives to repel bugs. We’ll discuss the types of bugs chives can help to repel and the proper way to plant and care for your chives to maximize their bug-fighting abilities:

Plant Chives Around Your Garden

The typical, onion-like bulbs of chives are more than just a tasty garnish for your dishes – chives can also help make your garden a bug-free zone. Other versions of the allium family, like onions and garlic, perform similarly.

As well as providing a natural form of pest control, planting chives around the edges of your garden or in flowerbeds can bring many other benefits to both edible and ornamental plants.

By planting chives around your garden, you can naturally repel pests like aphids, carrot flies, and cabbage worms. Alliums contain sulfur compounds that give off smells that seem to aggravate bugs away.

The flowers attract beneficial insects into the garden, such as bees, hoverflies, and ladybugs, which help control aphids even further – bonus! Chives also form dense thickets, making it difficult for animals or flying insects to approach desired plants.

You don’t have to limit yourself either; mix up different versions of the Allium tribe to cast an even greater aroma spell over your plants:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Leeks
  • Shallots
  • Ramps

All perform differently but ultimately achieve slightly similar results – deterring pests without relying on harmful chemicals or poisons.

Make a Chive Spray

Try making your chive spray if you’d like to take a DIY approach to use chives as a natural bug repellent.

This simple recipe can help to keep insects from bothersome outdoor areas.


  • 1 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco or similar)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Let the mixture sit for 12 hours before straining out the chunks of garlic and chives with cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve.
  3. Transfer the mixture into an empty spray bottle and use it liberally on outdoor areas where insects are known to be active, such as plants, decks, patios, and stairs.
  4. The mixture will act quickly upon contact with insects, so wear gloves while spraying if you’re concerned about coming into contact with it yourself. Reapply if you see more bugs around your outdoor space after it rains or when needed.

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Conclusion: Do Chives Keep Bugs Away?

To sum up, chives may deter some pests and discourage plant-eating animals. Their strong scent can repel bugs such as aphids and certain moths.

In addition, it appears that the long-term use of chives in a garden might reduce the presence of certain animals, such as deer or rabbits, who may not like their smell or taste.

While these results are promising, more research is needed to determine if and how chives can be used most effectively for pest control in gardens and farms.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Do chives keep bugs away?

A: Yes, chives can repel some insects and pests due to their strong scent and flavor. Chives’ smell can effectively repel aphids, carrot flies, Japanese beetles, and other pests.

Q: How do you use chives to repel bugs?

A: Plant chives around your garden or in containers to keep bugs away. You can also make a chive spray by blending chives with water and spraying the mixture around your garden.

Q: Are there any other benefits to using chives in the garden?

A: Yes, chives are beneficial to your garden in many ways. Chives can help protect other plants from pests, add nutrients to the soil, and attract beneficial insects.


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