As the spring and summer months approach pesticides are becoming increasingly important in order to aid in the fight against various pests such as spider mites, cabbageworms, garden slugs, and even aphids. However, the chemicals found in most pesticides used over fruits and vegetables can be harmful to consume if not carefully administered. Fortunately though pesticides that deter various pests can be made easily and organically from home. These homemade pesticides work great for both indoor and outdoor gardens and can be prepared and administered all throughout the year.
The first organic pesticide that can be prepared easily from home is a simple alcohol solution. Using rubbing alcohol, mix one half cup alcohol with one quart of water and 2 to 3 tablespoons of dry laundry soap. Stir the ingredients until the dry laundry soap is completely dissolved than place the mixture into a spray bottle. This mixture is especially useful for indoor plants and works best against meal bugs. However, be sure to use this mixture as soon as it is prepared as the ingredients may separate within the solution and become useless if left out.
Garlic spray is one of the most popular homemade organic pesticides that work great for preventing slug infestations as well. To begin, dice one garlic bulb into one quart of boiling water alongside one tablespoon of cayenne pepper. A diced onion may or may not be added. Allow the ingredients to simmer for one hour than stir in one tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Once cooled this solution may be added to a spray bottle to be sprayed around indoor plants or poured around outdoor gardens. Another great benefit about garlic spray is that it can be stored in a refrigerator for up to a week for later use.
Onion spray, much similar to garlic spray, can be stored for later use for up to one week in the refrigerator and is a great deterrent against garden slugs and spider mites. To prepare dice up one to two onions and mix them into a quart of water with one tablespoon of cayenne pepper. Garlic may or may not be added in order to increase potency and effectiveness. Boil the ingredients together than once cooled stir in one tablespoon of liquid dish soap. The onion spray is beneficial for both indoor and outdoor use as it can be sprayed over infected areas in small quantities in order to determine effectiveness.
Salt spray is one of the easiest organic pesticides that can be prepared from home. Simply stir two tablespoons of crystal salt into one gallon of water than spray over both indoor and outdoor plants. Salt spray works particularly great against spider mites, cabbageworms, and slugs.
Surprisingly tobacco spray has been proven to be one of the most useful organic pesticides that can be prepared from home. Tobacco spray works best for fighting off aphid infestations amongst outdoor plants and has been found to greatly increase aphid mortality rates by the Research Journal of Environmental and Earth Sciences. To prepare this homemade pesticide mix pure organic tobacco with one gallon of water and allow to settle. Wait until the water has turned a light brown color, much similar to tea, than separate the tobacco from the water and spray over infected areas. It is important to note that a homemade tobacco pesticide should not be used on plants such as tomatoes, peppers, or eggplants.
“The Effectiveness of Home Made Organic Pesticides Derived from Wild Plants, Garlic, and Tobacco on Aphid Mortality on Rape Plants.” Research Journal of Environmental and Earth Sciences 3(5): 457 – 462, 2011. ISSN: 2041-0492 Maxwell Scientific Organization, 2011. Published August 10, 2011.
“Natural Alternatives to Pesticides.” By Linda Basilicato July 17th, 2010.