Are you frustrated with bugs taking over your garden each summer, but not wanting to use traditional pesticides to control their damage? I feel ya! I work so hard to take care of my plants; feeding, watering and tending to them for ample produce, but the bugs seem to be the ones to reap all the benefits. Which is why, I have researched and found 7 natural pesticide solutions and am happy to share my findings with you here!
- Detergent Spray
Most people have heard of mixing dish detergent with a few other ingredients in a spray bottle and viola! I have mixed reviews for this repellant. For me it has depended on what type of soap I use. Thus far I have had the best success using Dawn brand soap.
Soap Detergent Recipe:
2 TBS biodegradable liquid soup, such as Dawn brand soap
Juice from 1 fresh squeezed lemon
1 tsp orange citrus oil
1 liter water
Put all ingredients into an empty spray bottle, shake well before each use. Spray plant from base to top, paying attention to the leaves.
Derived from a bitter tree leaf, Neem has been considered by the Ancient Indians to be a reliable strong pest repellant. Using this as a spray is probably the easiest way to ward off pests, but you do have options.
Neem Spray Recipe:
1 ounce Neem oil
1 tsp of biodegradable dish soap
2 liters of warm water
Put all ingredients into an empty spray bottle, shake well before use. Use immediately on plants, from the base up.
3. Garlic Spray
Garlic is known for its vibrant flavor and ability to ward off vampires. If vampires are raiding your garden, then my friend we have a bigger issue OR you have been reading too much Stephen King. However, for the rest of us with regular old pests, crush 6 heads/bulbs of fresh garlic, add them to 20 oz of water and infuse overnight. In the morning, strain the garlic, add 1 liter more of water and put the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray only the areas that are infected with bugs.
When I was little, I never understood why my grandmother had extra salt hanging out in her garden. Maybe she needed it to add to the rim of a margarita glass when gardening, and in that case who could blame her? Now I am learning that it probably was for margaritas AND to kill off the snails infesting her garden. Sprinkle salt directly on to the little buggers or around the plants to keep them away. Another option is mixing water and Epsom salt into a spray bottle: 1 cup of salt to 4 cups of water. Spray the mixture on the affected plants.
5. Diatomaceous Earth
This fossilized powder is great when trying to battle insects or vermin who have no legs. Simply sprinkle it around the plant you are trying to protect. It creates a protective ring as bugs cannot cruise over it without getting cut. Please note that this product has to be reapplied each time the ground gets wet, so kind of a pain if you live in super rainy climates!
6. Oil Spray
Oil spray is good for warding off flying insects. It should be applied approximately every 7 days or shortly after a heavy rain.
Oil Spray Recipe:
2 cups of cooking oil, such as Canola. Tip – don’t waste your expensive cooking oils, like olive or avocado for this spray!
2 TBS Dawn dish soap
1 liter of fresh water
Put all ingredients into an empty spray bottle, shake well before use. Use immediately on plants.
7. Mineral Oil
This oil has so many uses, and being a natural pesticide is just one of my favorites! Mix 20 ml of mineral oil with one liter of water. Mix in a spray bottle and spray on plants or directly on spiders and their eggs.
Do you have any other natural pesticides that have worked for you? I’d love to hear of them, as I am always on the lookout for new ways to keep these garden gobblin’ pests away!