A knowledge of natural homemade insecticides will go a long way towards a goal of producing non-toxic, healthy vegetables.
Growing a garden is a fantastic way to get in touch with the food chain. It will increase your appreciation of the bounty of nature and the herculean efforts invested by those who farm our food.
If you want to ensure that your efforts are sustainable, you’re going to want to avoid the use of chemical insecticides and focus on natural homemade alternatives.
Fortunately, we’ve got some great options for you that you can put into action today, if you want to.
Top Homemade Insecticides
Tomato Leaves – Bring On The Nightshade
Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family and thus contain alkaloids that are deadly to insects. Human beings can shrug off these alkaloids fairly easily.
To make a tomato leaf insecticide you’ll need to get 2 cups of chopped fresh tomato leaves (make sure to take them from the base of the tomato plant) and mix them into a quart of water and then let it sit overnight.
Then just strain and remove the chopped plant material and spray it onto your plants.
Chili Pepper – Pepper Spray For Bugs
Actually, this is also pepper spray for people, so please make sure to put some gloves on and ideally, use a face mask when preparing this insecticide. It can be incredibly unpleasant if this stuff gets into your mouth, nose or eyes.
Get some fresh peppers (or if they’re not available – you can use powdered chili) and cut them up and then drop ½ a cup of them into a quart of boiling water. Cool it. Strain it. Add some drops of liquid soap to the mix. Shake it and spray it on. (If using chili powder – elect for a tablespoon instead of ½ a cup).
Diatomaceous Earth – Nature’s Deadly Soil
We should warn you that some animals do not react well to diatomaceous earth and pet owners should carefully research the use of this before buying it. However, assuming your pets are fine with it – you just scatter it over the plants.
It works by dehydrating bugs to death by drawing water out of the fatty tissue in their bodies. You need to reapply it after it rains though.
Soap Spray – Simple To Make
Take 1.5 teaspoons of liquid soap and shake them in a quart of water. Spray it all over the plants. The soap blocks the pores of the insects it comes into contact with and this, essentially, makes them suffocate to death.
Use this solution in the early morning or the late evening for best results. Don’t use it in the middle of the day – it will just evaporate.
Oil Spray – Soap Spray On Steroids
Mix a cup of vegetable oil with a tablespoon of liquid soap – then shake it up. Then take 2 teaspoons of your oil mix and throw it in a quart of water. Shake this thoroughly. Then spray it all over the plants that your infestations are on.
This is slightly stickier than just soap spray and may be more effective on stubborn insect populations.
Neem Oil – Insecticide and Fungicide As One
Get some Neem Oil from your local garden store and then follow the directions on the bottle for mixing it.
Then spray it liberally all over everything in your garden that has a pest problem.
Neem oil comes from the seeds of a tree and it is a very powerful insecticide.
It can destroy insects at any stage of development (from egg to adult) and yet it is 100% biodegradable and utterly non-toxic to all animal life (even fish).
You may also find that, due to its anti-fungal properties, it gets rid of any mildew on your plants.
Garlic Blast – Insecticide Or Repellant?
Take 2 bulbs of garlic – throw them in a blender and turn them into puree with a tiny bit of water. Take the mix and dump it into a quart of water. Let it sit overnight. Strain it. Then add a teaspoon of liquid soap. Shake well. Then take 1 cup of the mix and add it to 1 quart of water. Spray it over your plants.
Nobody is quite sure whether garlic kills insects or whether they just hate the smell and leave. But who cares? The results for your garden are the same.
A Bit Of Everything – All Out Insecticide
Take an onion, a bulb of garlic, and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and then throw them in a blender. Let the mix sit for an hour.
Then put it in a quart of water and add a tablespoon of liquid soap. Shake well. Then use it on your plants, it ought to be the strongest natural pesticide you can make as it combines almost all the other methods in one.
Just getting started with gardening at home? Check out our 12 Best Kitchen Garden Guide Tips For Growing Vegetables At Home. We’ve also got some great resources on Market Farming & Gardening.