Garden pests are one of the few things that can make the otherwise enjoyable task of gardening frustrating. Whether it's snails taking over your lettuce or aphids sucking on your roses, a pest infestation is definitely disappointing, but it's not a reason to reach for harmful, toxic sprays. The sprays might eliminate the pesky culprits, but they are harmful to you and the environment. Instead, try whipping up one of these simple recipes with ingredients you most likely have on hand.
What You Need
- Spray bottles
- Biodegradable liquid dish soap
- Lemon or orange essential oil
- Cooking oil
- Baking soda
- Chili powder
Natural Insecticidal Soap Spray
This soap is easy to make and good keep on hand, since it should take care of most of those annoying common pests such as aphids, mites, white flies, thrips, and mealy bugs. It kills them by attacking them at the skin, suffocating and therefore eliminating them. Add a few drops of orange or lemon essential oil- a natural insecticide especially effective against ants and scale-to help the the spray stick to your plants.
In a spray bottle, combine:
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid soap
- 1 quart of water
- A couple drops of orange or lemon essential oil
Use a biodegradable liquid soap (such as Murphy's oil soap, castile soap, or Mrs. Meyer's), to make the mixture. Once combined, shake well. Spray your plant thoroughly, making sure you cover the underside of the leaves as well.
All-Purpose Garlic Chili Spray
Pepper and garlic are both natural insect repellents and will help to repel Japanese beetles, borers, leafhoppers, and slugs. Garlic also deters larger pests such as deer and rabbits.
In a bowl with a spout, combine:
- Natural Insecticidal Soap Spray (from recipe above)
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder (you could also use fresh or dried hot peppers)
- 5 cloves of garlic, crushed and cut roughly
Allow garlic and chili powder to steep overnight. Strain and pour into a spray bottle. Keep for up to two weeks.