Saturday, January 16, 2010

chemical free home made pesticides

Often times our gardens get little creepy, crawly and gross pests. Sure, we could run out and spend a fist full of money and come home and spray our foods with chemicals and lord knows what else, however, more often than not there simply is no reason to. With a few ingredients from our our kitchens and gardens we can  make  some very good pesticides and they are completely chemical free. More often than not these simple easy to make home remedies can keep your garden pest free. Here are a few of my favorite recipes  for some of the most common  pests we encounter in our gardens.

For recipes that require liquid dish detergent, use the basic stuff–nothing fancy with added bleach, nothing concentrated and no special antibacterial formulas. You can also substitute with a gentler liquid soap such as liquid castile or a perfume free, gentle liquid hand soap.

As with all pesticides, take care when applying to food bearing plants, handling and storage of the pesticide. Make sure to wash all produce well before consuming.

Rhubarb Leaf Pesticide Spray
1 cup rhubarb leaves
6.5 cups water
1 tsp liquid dish detergent or soap flakes

Cover rhubarb leaves with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes then remove from heat and cool. Strain then add 1/4 cup liquid dish detergent. Spray on plants. Good for aphids, june beetles, spider mites, thrips. Rhubarb leaves are poisonous, take care when preparing and handling.

Garlic, Peppers & Onion Insecticide
2 hot peppers
1 large onion
1 whole bulb of garlic
1/4 cup water

Toss in the food processor and add water, blend until a mash is made. Cover mash with 1 gallon hot (not boiling) water and let stand 24 hours. Strain. Spray on roses, azaleas, vegetables to kill bug infestations. Bury mash in ground where bugs are heaviest. Good for thrips, aphids, grasshoppers, chewing and sucking insects.

Tomato Leaves Spray

Crush leaves from a tomato plant and soak in water for a couple days. Strain then spray. Good for grasshopper and white fly control. Tomato leaves are poisonous, take care when preparing and handling.

Basil Tea Spray
4 cups water
1 cup fresh basil (or 2 TBS dried)
1 tsp liquid dish detergent

Bring water to a boil then add basil. Remove from heat, cover and steep until cool. Strain. Mix in the liquid detergent then spray on plants. Good for aphids.

Salt Spray
2 TBS salt
1.5 gallons warm water

Mix salt and water to dissolve, allow to cool to room temperature. Use for spider mites, caterpillars, cabbage worms and chewing insects.

Japanese Beetle Bait Trap
2 cups water
1 mashed banana
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup wine
1/2 tsp yeast

Mix ingredients together and put in an old margarine container, cover with lid and set container out in the hot sun for a day. The next day, remove lid and set in garden where the beetles have been spotted (use a shallow container).

Peppermint Tea
1 TBS peppermint essential oil (can also use an infusion made with mint leaves, increase amount to 1 cup infusion)
1 quart water

Mix together and use as an insect spray (good for ants).

Horticultural Oil Spray
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 tsp liquid dish detergent
2 cups water

Fill a spray bottle with the ingredients then shake to mix.

Citrus Rinds as Slug Traps. If you don't have beer in the house, but you do have oranges, grapefruits, or lemons, give this a try. Cut a grapefruit in half and scoop out the flesh, leaving the empty rind. You can eat the grapefruit of course. Place the rind, upside-down (skin up, pith down), in your garden wherever you've noticed slug damage. Let the rind sit overnight.The following morning, lift the rind up. Slugs will have congregated on the underside of the rind. Dispose of them as you see fit. (Chickens like them )Replace the rind and repeat until you stop catching slugs or you stop seeing damage.

Newspaper Earwig Traps work well for reducing the population of these sometimes-pesky insects. Simply take a section of newspaper, slightly dampen it, and roll it up. Place it on the ground in your garden wherever you have seen earwigs. You can also do this near your newly planted seedlings to trap any earwigs before they damage your plants. Let the newspaper sit over night. Earwigs are most active after dark, so they'll find their way to your trap then.In the morning, it's time to check the traps. The first thing you need to do is get a bucket of soapy water—dish soap works perfectly. Take the bucket to where your traps are.Pick up your newspaper trap and shake it out over the bucket of soapy water. You can also unroll it slightly to jar the earwigs loose. The earwigs will fall into the soapy water, and die. You can dump the water, with earwigs, into your compost pile.It's not a bad idea to set your traps for a few days, or until you are finding very few if any earwigs in them. Once you've reached that point, your earwig problem is solved!

Milk for Powdery Mildew. The milk works just as well as toxic fungicides at preventing the growth of powdery mildew. This mixture will need to be reapplied regularly, but it works wonderfully. Mix nine parts water to one part milk and spray.

Baking Soda Spray
for Powdery Mildew is a tried-and-true method for preventing powdery mildew. It needs to be applied weekly, but if you have a problem with mildew in your garden, it will be well worth the time. Simply combine one tablespoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of vegetable oil, one tablespoon of dish soap and one gallon of water and spray it on the foliage of susceptible plants.Baking soda spray works because the baking soda disrupts fungal spores, preventing them from germinating. The oil and soap help the mixture stick to plant leaves.

Coffee Cream and Sugar when you make coffee (organic of course) make a second batch for yourself add a dash of milk (1 cup per gallon is enough) and a tablespoon of sugar per gallon of coffee you make. The coffee provide the correct ph while the milk the bacteria and calcium and the sugar helps raise the bric level of the plant.


  1. These are really easy to make! I prefer these than using chemical pesticides because I don’t like its smell. We also use diluted dishwashing liquid to kill cockroaches than step on them or throw slippers at it when it’s way up on the walls or ceiling. I hate the ones that fly! I really have to run for it!

    Bridgette Adair

  2. Thank you for sharing these home remedies! While chemical pesticides may be effective, they may also end up killing non-harmful insects that actually help with plant growth. And as you said, these homemade ones are cheaper. :)

  3. Hi! Thanks for the great i nformation you havr provided! You have touched crucuial points!
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