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5 Natural Pesticide Recipes

No one wants to see their plants decimated by pests. Sometimes our best option to defend our garden is pesticides, but who wants all those chemicals on their food? The solution is to make your own homemade pesticides using ingredients you can grow or find at home.


a spray bottle containing natural pesticides with plants in background

I've noticed that store-bought pesticides often contain ingredients I already have at home. One well-known brand I use is 99% rapeseed oil!


Most pesticides also contain chemicals I don't want on my plants. I decided to look at making my own pesticides. I wanted something effective and natural. A bonus is that homemade pesticides are super cheap to make.


I had a few requirements. The homemade pesticides needed to be easy to make and apply, and I wanted them to use up some of the herbs and plants I already had in my garden. After tons of testing, I've found a few recipes that fit the bill.


Homemade Pesticide Recipes


1. Chilli Pepper Spray


This is one of my favourites, as I love to grow chillies and have plenty to go around. It's safe to use on your plants and highly effective. The insecticidal properties of chilli pepper are highest in the ripe fruit, especially in the skin and seed. Chillis act as a stomach poison, antifeedant and repellent to many pests.



Dried red chillies

Ingredients

  • 12 cups of water

  • 2 teaspoons of chilli powder

  • 1 teaspoon of biodegradable dishwashing liquid

Method


Add the chilli powders, dishwashing liquid, and oil and let sit for an hour. Strain and pour into plastic spray bottles.

Application


I use this spray when any pest is eating the foliage of my ornamental and edible plants. Don't use this spray unless the plant is being attacked or you see the pests present. Spray on both sides of the leaves; after one or two applications, the bugs will die or leave for greener pastures.


2. Mint, Garlic and Pepper Spray


This is my favourite homemade pesticide recipe. It's simple, you can grow the two main ingredients, and it is safe on any plant you eat.


Ingredients


  • 3 cups of freshly picked mint leaves

  • 3 heads of garlic with cloves separated and peeled

  • 12 cups of water

  • 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon of biodegradable dishwashing liquid


Method


Combine the garlic and mint in your food processor and pulse a few times. Bring the water to the boil and add the mint, garlic, and pepper.

Boil for a minute, and then let steep overnight. Next, strain into plastic spray bottles and add dishwashing liquid into each bottle.


Application


I use this spray when any pest is eating the foliage of my ornamental and edible plants. Don't use this spray unless the plant is attacked or you see the pests present. Spray on both sides of the leaves; after one or two applications, the bugs will die or leave for greener pastures.


3. Oil Based Pesticide


I use oil-based pesticides when I have an infestation and must disrupt the pest's life cycle. The oil will stick to the pest's body, but more importantly, you want to target the eggs and the young so that as the older pests die, they're not replaced. Over time, the bugs vanish entirely.


Ingredients


  • 2 tablespoons of soap

  • 1 cup of vegetable or rapeseed oil

  • 1 cup of water

Method


Mix the soap and oil in a bowl. Take 3 tablespoons of this mixture and add to a cup of water. Pour this into a spray bottle, shake well, and attack that bug infestation. You can store the excess soap and oil mixture to use later.


Application


Spray all over any bugs and pests you see. Make sure you spray both sides of the leaves and cover the bugs and eggs as best you can.



4. Citrus-Based Pesticide


Next time you eat an orange or two, save the peels to make this simple homemade pesticide. I've been known to freeze skins until I've got enough for a bigger batch.

Ingredients


  • Peels from two oranges, lemons etc

  • 2 cups of water

  • 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid


Method


Place the peels in a bowl, pour 2 cups of boiling water over the orange peels, and leave it to soak for 24 hours.

In the morning, strain the liquid into a spray bottle and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid before mixing the bottle.

This is a fantastic pesticide for soft-bodied pests like slugs, mealybugs, and aphids.


5. Tomato Leaf Pesticide

This is an effective homemade pesticide, especially if you grow multiple tomato plants, as I do. Save the leaves as you pinch out the laterals of the tomato plant. It really doesn't get simpler than that.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups of tomato leaves chopped

  • Water to cover

Method


Chop the tomato leaves and place them in a bowl. Cover with hot water and allow to steep overnight.


In the morning, strain the mixture into a bottle, and you're ready to spray it on aphids or other pests.


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