So let’s start by saying pesticides designed to make bug’s stomachs explode are bad for humans too. Since you, your kids and your pets live and play in the garden or eat the veggies and fruit that come out of it, avoiding chemicals is good for everyone. Now that we are agreed, let’s keep those bugs at bay the natural way!
Awesome and Easy Pesticide
One tablespoon of castile soap in a spray bottle (about 750 ml or 25 oz.) will work for most things. For an added punch, add 10 drops of any citrus oil as this also helps it to stick to the plants better.
Got stubborn borers, Japanese Beetles, or leafhoppers? Add chilli powder (cayenne pepper works too) and a bunch of crushed garlic to the recipe above and you are good to go!
Java is where it’s at
When you’ve brewed your morning cuppa, don’t discard your grounds. Instead, sprinkle your left over coffee grounds around your veggies to fend off mosquitoes, ants, slugs and maggots. They are also a great fertilizer for plants that like more acidic soil like rhododendrons and azaleas.
No problem! Just mix together 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in 2 liters (2 quarts) of warm water. Spray on affected areas and your plants will be fungus free in no time.
Did you get a bunch of flowers? Save the mums and make this really great tea that paralyses bugs. Mums have a chemical compound called pyrethrum that is really effective on most insects. Just boil a handful of flowers in a liter (1 quart) of water for 20 minutes. When cool, pour the tea over your plants.
Neem oil insecticide
The neem plant makes it’s own natural insecticides for all stages of insect life from egg to adult. As a hormone disruptor, neem is biodegradable and nontoxic to pets and humans. In addition to an insecticide, it is also a natural fungicide capable of combating powder mildew and other fungal infections. You can get neem oil from health food stores or garden centers. Mix according to the directions or make your own mix with 2 tablespoons of neem oil to 1 tablespoon of liquid soap to 2 quarts of water. Spray on plant foliage as needed.
Diatomaceous earth is sedimentary rock made by diatoms (algae) which makes up 26% of the earth’s crust. It works by dehydrating insects by absorbing the lipids in their exoskeleton. Simply sprinkle it under plants and even on foliage. It does need to be reapplied after rain.
Garlic and Chili
The strong smell of garlic can be repellent to certain kinds of insects. Puree two bulbs (not the individual cloves, but the whole bulb) in the blender with 4 cups of water. Leave the mixture on the counter overnight. Strain the liquid and add 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon dish soap. This makes a concentrated mixture. To use, mix 1 cup garlic liquid with 4 cups water and spray on foliage.
To use chilies, mix 1 tablespoon of chili powder with 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of dish soap or add 1 tablespoon of chili powder to your concentrated garlic spray.