Natural Garden Pest Control with Homemade Recipes

Garden pest control advice with homemade insecticide recipes using natural, organic ingredients found in your kitchens.

Whether you have a garden, homestead or just a balcony container garden, you will at some time or other, be invaded by garden pests. The most common being aphids and scale.

Before you rush out and buy commercial pesticides and insecticides, look at your kitchen pantry for readily available ingredients that will give you a natural pest control that will protect your vegetables and your family from any harmful chemicals that you would have used, had you not.

However, be aware that in some countries, like the UK, it is illegal to make homemade insecticide or pesticide recipes. So always check with your local council to stay on the right side of the law.

Also make sure that when you are making your homemade insecticides that you do so in such a way so as not to harm beneficial insects such as earthworms, or the ladybug.

Some Advice on Applying your Natural Garden Pest Control Sprays

In using a mixture for the first time against your garden pests it is advisable to try it on one plant only, and the worst of the plants affected. If the preparation is too strong, you will know soon enough by the state of the plant within twenty-four hours; thus a little caution may prevent a great loss.

Another good rule is to employ the several natural pesticide recipes in a rather weak state until you have gained experience in these things, as not only has the strength of the recipe to be considered, but the management of the plant before and after it is administered.

For garden pest control to be effective is very important to be thorough in the cleansing of plants, because they will be greatly affected by the attacks of insects, and should be either cleaned well, or burned if the outbreak is very severe and beyond help. If you don't treat your plants, the infection will spread.

Garden Pest Control for Aphids, Mealy Bugs, Scale, Thrips and Whitefly

a ladybug sitting on a leaf1/2 cup rubbing alcohol

1 quart liquid soap

Mix directly into a spray container. Do not spray in direct sunlight as leaf damage may occur. Spray, then let sit for 20 minutes. Spray plant down with clear water to reduce foliage damage. Spray every 3 days for 2 weeks.

Alcohol sprays is a natural pest control effective on aphids, mealy bugs, scale insects, thrips and whitefly.

Garden Pest Control for Woolly Aphids

This natural pest control using nasturtiums is effective against woolly aphids.

Mix 1 cup nasturtium leaves with 1 cup of water. Simmer together on top of stove in an old pot for about 15 minutes. Cool and strain. Dilute with equal parts mixture to water. Spray where needed.

Homemade Insecticide Recipe using Nicotine to get rid of Aphids

1 cup liquid dish soap

1 cup antiseptic mouthwash

1 cup chewing tobacco juice (Place 3 fingers of chewing tobacco in an old nylon stocking and soak in a gallon of hot water until mixture turns dark brown.)

Put mixture into a 20 gallon sprayer and fill the rest of the container with warm water. Spray on vegetables and plants every alternate week.

Another Homemade Insecticide Recipe to get Rid of Aphids

Take a handful of pipe or rolling tobacco into a gallon of water. Give it a stir and leave it for 24 hours. Then dilute it until it is a pale brown color. Spray the solution on to the affected plants, and you will find that any aphids on your plants will die off very quickly.

Important: Do not spary on potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, egg plants or any other members of the Solanaceae family, as the tobacco spray will kill them too.

Another Homemade Insecticide Recipe to Rid of Aphids

In some countries lantana has been banned as it is seen as a noxious weed. However, this organic spray is effective against aphids.

Boil 4 cups of lantana leaves in 4 cups of water. Boil for 20 minutes and spray on plants.

Garden Pest Control against Sucking Insects and Caterpillars

This homemade insecticide is useful against sucking insects and some caterpillars.

90 g chopped garlic cloves

2 T mineral oil or liquid paraffin

15 g of pure soap or soap flakes

500 ml warm water.

Mix garlic and oil together and let is steep for 48 hours. Dissolve grated soap or flakes in warm water and then mix the 2 solutions together and then strain. Use 1 part mixture to 50 parts water. Spray as usual.

Quassia chips are also an excellent way of getting rid of chewing and sucking insects.

Garden Pest Control for Red Spider Mite

This homemade insecticide is effective against the tiny red spider mite.

1/2 cup buttermilk

4 cups flour

20 L water

Mix the buttermilk with the flour and then add the water. Spray over a 2 day period to make sure that the infestation has been successfully been eradicated.

Garden Pest Control for Scale

If you find that your plants have scale this is the organic insecticide for you. Take one 1 tablespoon ground mustard seeds and add 20 parts of water to the seeds. Place in a sprayer and spray the affected plant.

Garden Pest Control against Leaf-Eating Insects, Scale and Shield Bugs

This homemade insecticide and pesticide is very effective against any leaf-eating insects and has a limited effect against most scale and hard-surfaced pests such as shield bugs.

4 bird's eye chilies, chopped (or as hot as you can find)

4 large onions, chopped

2 bulbs garlic, chopped

2 L soapy water

Combine all the ingredients, including the seeds from the chilies. Cover with the soapy water and allow to steep for 24 hours. Strain. Add water to dilute if required and spray. Can be stored in a sealed container in a dark place for up to 2 weeks.

Garden Pest Control Solutions against most Garden Pests

Pyrethrum and neem are by far the most effective organic pest control measures around which kills most aphids, cabbage loopers, celery leaf tiers, codling moth, Colarado potato beetles, leafhoppers, Mexican bean beetles, spider mites, stink bugs, several species of thrips, tomato pinworms, and whitefly, flies, gnats, mosquitoes and midgies.

As soon as insects come into contact with the pyrethrum spray, they will die, attacking the nervous system. Neem, interrupts the sexual cycle of the insects resulting to complete erradication after several sprayings. See page for further details on this amazing organic pest control.

Pyrethrum is an African flowering plant from the chrysanthemum family and is deadly to most insects, and therefore a highly effective garden pest control ingredient. In addition, because it is not systemic and is destroyed by UV light, it is not deadly to mammals and can be safely sprayed on vegetables and fruit when picked 12-48 hours after application. Unfortunately, it is also deadly to good bugs as well, so use with care and only spray on heavily infested plants as a last resort.

Spray both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves, because spray must directly contact the insects such as thrips that hide in leaf sheaths and crevices. Spray in cooler temperatures as it is more effective then, evening or late afternoon being ideal. Never use pyrethrin products around waterways and ponds. And for those of you who have dermatitis, asthma and sinus you may have an allergic reaction when using pyrethrum.

Grow your own pyrethrum from seed, which can be bought from your local seedman and use the flowers that are in full bloom. The active ingredient is found in the immature seed. Cut them off early in the morning and hang upside down to dry and leave in a well-ventilated dark place to dry. Light will cause the plant to lose its potency. When dried, grind with a pestle and mortar until you have a fine powder.

Mix 10 gm of pyrethrum powder to 3 litres of water. Let stand for 3 hours in a dark place. Add 1 teaspoon of dish washing liquid as a fixative just before use.

You can also steep your flowers in a jar filled with boiling water, and apply after it has cooled down.

However, the best way is to cover the flowers in a container with brandy, although kerosene and mineral oil will also work but not as well. Leave this mixture overnight keeping it away from any light. Strain the liquid and use 1 part liquid to 6 parts water.

To store your flowers place them in a freezer up to 6 months and use accordingly.

All-Purpose Natural Pest Control Spray Recipe

This is a very effective general spray that is extremely poisonous, however unfortunately it is also poisonous to bees so use with care, and keep out of reach of children.

Boil 1.5 kg rhubarb leaves in 3.5 L of water, straining and bottling. Dissolve 100 g soft soap in 2 L of hot water and add to the leaf mixture when cold.

Use only on ornamental shrubs, and flowers, but NEVER use on herbs or vegetables.

Garden Pest Control against Aphids and Caterpillars

This is useful against aphids and some caterpillars.

56 g of soap flakes or pure grated soap mixed with 5 L of hot water, which must be cooled before use.

Garden Pest Control against Asparagus Beetles, Flea Beetles, Earworms and Maggots

2 cups of chopped tomato leaves

2 pints of water

1/4 tsp of liquid soap

Soak tomato leaves in water overnight. Strain this mixture then add another pint of water and liquid soap. Spray foliage and soil as needed. This spray is effective against asparagus beetles and flea beetles, ear-worms and maggots.

Garden Pest Control against Scale

Oil is great for suffocating the eggs and insects, especially in winter when the eggs are more porous at this time, and the oil more effective as a method of getting rid of a variety of pests.

White Oil can be purchased at your local gardening store at great expense. Or, you can make your own homemade white oil at a fraction of the cost using the same simple ingredients!

White oil is particularly effective against scale.

White Oil Recipe:

Pour a cup of cooking oil and a few drops of washing-up detergent into a 1 L plastic bottle.

Add 1/2 cup of water and shake well. Pour 250 ml into a 9 L bucket of water and mix.

Spray the mixture over and under infested leaves. Use on a cloudy day. Do not apply on plants when you have high summer temperatures as the oil will burn the leaves.

Garden Pest Control against Aphids, Snails, Fleas, Flies, Moths, Mosquitoes

Collect large amount of wormwood leaves and cover with a bucket of boiling water. Steep for 3 hours. Dilute, using 1 part mixture to 4 parts water. Allow to cool before using.

Another homemade recipe for getting rid of fleas

Add a little sulfur to the dog's drinking water. Another method is to put 1/2 cup vinegar into the final rinsing water of your dog's bath water. Another is to boil a large quantity of mint leaves in 2 L of water. Strain and cool. After washing and rinsing the dog, pour the cooled mint solution over the dog and allow him to dry off naturally. Any fleas that remain will leave immediately.

Garden Pest Control against Cane Toads

For those of you who live in Australia, and particularly Queensland, you are probably plagued with cane toads. Using them as golf balls in the dark is not very humane, although a common practice for the desperate! However, if you fill up a sprayer with pure Dettol and spray the cane toads directly, they will die almost immediately.

Large numbers can be rounded up and placed in a bucket and then doused with Dettol. Not strictly organic but it does work, and I talk from personal experience! Wear gloves and protective eye-glasses so you are not affected by their poison yourself.

Garden Pest Control against Fruit Flies

The best way to do this is to set up fruit fly traps in the orchard. These can be made out of jam jars, or old ice cream containers and then strung up in the tree boughs.

A Homemade Fly Trap Recipe:

Prepare 300g pulped oranges, 15 g ammonium carbonate (purchase from the chemist), and add 600 ml water. Mix and fill jars or buckets with the bait.

Natural pest control is always better than toxic insecticides and pesticides as they usually only target the pest at hand, and are not harmful to bees and other useful insects.

Natural Pest Control for Greenhouse Pests

Kill off those unwanted greenhouse pests using laurel leaves. Bash up some laurel leaves so that you bruise them well. Leave them like that in bowls in either your greenhouse or your coldframes overnight.

The bruised laurel leaves give off prussic acid gases which is deadly to most small insects.

Garden Pest Control for Powdery Mildew 

A garden pest of a different kind. Not one with legs this time, but a pest that can kill your melons, cucumbers, and the like when it attacks the leaves, especially in humid weather.

This spray can also be used to prevent the damping off of seedlings after transplanting them.

Take 1 cup chamomile leaves and place in a non-metal bowl. Add 3 cups of boiling water and allow to steep until cool. Strain. Dilute with equal parts of mixture to water.

Garden Pest Control against Nematodes

This organic spray control is effective against nematodes. Dissolve 2 kg sugar in a bucket of water. Drench the soil to kill nematodes. Molasses can also be used, but don't use honey as this may transmit disease back to the bees.

Other Resources for Garden Pests and Other Interests

Go from Garden Pest Control back to Garden Pests

Neem for natural control of pests

Nasturtiums for Codling Moth

Companion Planting for Insect Control

How Safe is our Food?

Go to How to Grow Vegetables

Go to Organic Gardening

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