Who doesn’t love HOME GROWN VEGGIES!!! We do here at MLGS but we certainly don’t like the “meat” that sometimes comes with it or get’s it BEFORE we do.

BUGS! Our worst nightmare. Below are a few “home remedies” for bugs that we like to use BEFORE we have to reach for alternative “safe” pesticides.

Oil spray insecticide

A homemade insecticide made from vegetable oil mixed with a mild soap can have a devastating effect on certain troublesome insects, such as aphids, mites, thrip, etc.

To make a basic oil spray insecticide

  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of soap (cover and shake thoroughly)

When ready to apply

  • add 2 teaspoons of the oil spray mix
  • 1 litre of water

Shake thoroughly, and spray directly on the surfaces of the plants which are being affected by the little pests. The oil coats the bodies of the insects, effectively suffocating them, as it blocks the pores through which they breathe.

Soap spray insecticide

A very similar homemade pesticide to the oil spray is a soap spray, which is also effective for controlling mites, aphids, whiteflies, beetles, and other hungry little insects.

To make a basic soap spray insecticide

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of a mild liquid soap
  • 1 litre of water

Spray the mixture directly on the infected surfaces of the plants. A soap spray insecticide works in a similar fashion as an oil spray pesticide, and can be applied as necessary (though it is always recommended to NOT apply it during the hot sunny part of the day, but rather in the evenings or early mornings)

Garlic insecticide spray

Garlic is well-known for its pungent aroma, which is delectable to some and yet repellent to others, and it is this strong scent that comes into play when used as a natural insecticide. Actually, it’s not really clear if garlic spray and Chile spray (below) are actually insecticides or are more likely insect repellents, but either way, these common kitchen ingredients can be used to knock down, or even knock out, insect infestations in the garden.

To make a basic garlic spray

  • take 2 whole bulbs (not just 2 cloves)
  • puree them in a blender or food processor with a small amount of water

Let the mixture sit overnight, then strain it into a jar, adding

  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of mild liquid soap
  • Enough water to fill the jar

To use this homemade insecticide, use 1 cup of mixture with 1 litre of water and spray liberally on infested plants.

Chile pepper insecticide spray

Similar to garlic spray, Chile pepper spray is a great homemade natural insect repellent that can be used for a variety of different pests. Chile spray can be made from either fresh hot peppers or chile pepper powder.

To make a basic chilli spray from pepper powder

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of chilli powder
  • 1 litre of water
  • Several drops of mild liquid soap.

This mixture can be used full-strength on the leaves of affected plants.

To make chilli spray from fresh chilli peppers

  • Blend or puree 1/2 cup of peppers
  • 1 cup of water, then add
  • 1 litre of water and bring to a boil

Let sit until cooled, then strain out the chilli material

Add several drops of liquid soap to it and spray as desired.

[Caution: Hot chilli peppers can be very potent on humans as well, so be sure to wear gloves when handling them, and keep any sprays made from them away from eyes, nose, and mouth.]

All-in-one homemade insecticide spray

From us here at MLGS comes this all-in-one DIY natural insecticide, which is said to be a combination of many different recipes.

To make

  • puree 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 small onion,
  • add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder
  • let steep for an hour.
  • Strain the mixture and add
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid soap and mix well.

To apply this homemade insecticide, spray it full-strength onto both the upper surface of the leaves, as well as the undersides, and store the remainder in the refrigerator for up to a week if desired.

Tomato leaf as a natural insecticide

I have to admit that this one is new to me, but I’ve seen enough mentions of it now to warrant its inclusion here as a natural pesticide. Tomato plants are part of the nightshade family, and as such, contain alkaloids such as the aptly named “tomatine,” which can effectively control aphids and other insects.

To make tomato leaf spray for a natural insecticide,

  • Chop 2 cups of fresh tomato leaves (which can be taken from the bottom part of the plant)
  • 1 litre of water
  • Let steep overnight.
  • Strain out the plant material and spray onto plant foliage