With a growing emphasis on ecologically friendly gardening, making your own homemade pesticide is becoming a popular method of insect and pest control. You can find many different ingredients in your kitchen cabinet or refrigerator to use in making your own safe pesticides.
In general, most homemade pesticides are composed of organic materials that are naturally repellent and distasteful to insects or pests being targeted. Pesticides sprayed on or near plants divert insects. You can also use these types of pesticides to deter bug infestations around the home.
Ideally, homemade pesticides are not cooked. Instead, the ingredients are blended together and mixed with water. Then they are strained through a sieve or cheesecloth to create a tea that can be sprayed onto plants. Soap is often added to help keep the spray in place once it is applied.
One of the most common recipes for homemade pesticides includes strong peppers and garlic because strong flavors are often unsavory to insects.
To make pepper pesticides, chop jalapenos, garlic and onions. Mix these ingredients with hot pepper sauce and a small amount of liquid soap. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and add enough water to make it liquid and sprayable.
Another recommended recipe includes:
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 small onion
- 1 tbsp. liquid soap
- 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 qt. water
Finely chop the garlic and onion together and add water. Add the pepper and set the mixture aside for an hour. Add the soap and sift through a strainer. Pour the remaining liquid into a spray bottle.
Pepper pesticides can be sprayed directly on plants or visible insects.
Another simple-to-make pesticide uses plain kitchen vegetable oil. Mix 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 tbsp. of liquid soap. Blend this mixture with 1 cup of water and pour into a spray bottle.
This homemade pesticide is especially effective against aphids, mealybugs, scales, thrips and mites. Spray the oil mixture on affected plants as needed.
Mixing 1 part ammonia with 7 parts water is an economical, effective green pesticide that is effective against aphids, scales and thrips.
Probably the most commonly used natural pesticide is liquid soap that is diluted in water. When the soap mixture is sprayed on plants that have aphids, mites and other pests, the insects are suffocated and die. If you use a soap spray, be aware that you will need to regularly reapply it, since even a minimum amount of moisture will dissipate it.
To make a soap spray, use a soft liquid soap, not a detergent, because detergents willl destroy the plant. Ivory Liquid, Murphy’s Oil Soap or a castile soap will work well. Add water to the liquid soap to dilute before putting the soap into a sprayer.
Natural homemade pesticides are relatively easy to make and are often much more economical to use. Other common organic methods of eliminating insects include pouring boiling water over sites of insect infestations and making a paste of undesired pests to spread near the affected plant.