How to Use Homemade Insecticides (Part 2)
Here are some more homemade insecticide recipes that are easy to make. Usual warnings apply: don’t use poisonous ingredients for food bearing plants and make sure to handle all ingredients with care.
Hot Pepper Insecticide
You’ll need: ½ cup of hot peppers or 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper, 1 TSP of liquid dish detergent and 1 quart water.
Boil the water, remove from heat and add peppers. Cover and steep until the mixture is cool. Strain and then add liquid detergent. If you use cayenne pepper you don’t need to bring water to a boil first. Use the mixture to treat infected plants.
You’ll need: 1 TBS of vegetable oil, 1 TSP of liquid dish detergent and 2 cups of water. Simply fill a spray bottle with these ingredients and shake it to make a mixture. Apply to the infected plants.
You’ll need: 2 cups of orange or lemon peels, 4 cups of water. Bring water to a boil, remove from heat and all peels. Cover the mixture and steep until it’s cool. Strain and apply to the infected plants. This insecticide is very effective against white flies.
Baking Soda & Dish Detergent Repellent
You’ll need: 2 TBS of liquid dish detergent, 2 TBS of baking soda, 1 gallon of water. Mix all these ingredients and apply the mixture to the infected plants.
Ingredients: 1 TBS of peppermint essential oil (alternatively, you can use an infusion made of mint leaves but in this case increase the amount to 2 cup), 1 quart water.
Mix the ingredients together and use it as an insect spray. This mixture is very effective against ants.
Potato Leaves Tea
You’ll need: 1 cup of potato leaves and 2 cups water. Chop leaves and cover them with hot water. Seal the container and leave for 24 h, preferably somewhere where it’s hot and sunny (sunny windows are a great location). Strain and then use to treat your plants.
Warning: potato leaves are poisonous so take special care when handling and preparing. Don’t use this insecticide for food bearing plants.
Japanese Beetle Bait Trap
You’ll need: 1 mashed banana, ½ cup of sugar, ½ cup of wine, ½ TSP of yeast and 2 cups of water. Mix these ingredients and put them inside an old margarine container. Make sure to cover the lid and set the container in a sunny place for 24 h.
After this, remove the lid and place the container where the beetles have been spotted to attract them.
Ingredients: 1 TMS Neem soap shavings and 1 liter of water. Add soap shavings to water and let the mix sit for one hour. Place the mix inside a bottle, shake it and use to treat your plants.
Mineral Oil Mix
Mix 3 parts of oil per 100 parts water. Use this mix to treat the infected plants. This insecticide is very effective against Aphids, Codling Moth, Leaf Roller, Mealybugs, Scaled Insects and White Fly.
Soap Flakes Spray
You’ll need: 2 TBS of soap flakes (don’t use detergents!) and 1 quart water. Dissolve soap flakes in the water and use the mix to treat your plants. It’s very effective against aphids.
Mix 1 cup of Sunlight dish soap with 1 TBS of vegetable oil. Mix the ingredients and store in a plastic, airtight container. You can use 1 to 2 teaspoons of this concentrate with a quart of water to make a spray.
If using in hot weather, repeat every 3rd day (this is 3 applications over 7 days). When the weather is warm or cool, use once per week for 3 weeks.
Tips for Using these Homemade Recipes
- These insecticides are great as preventive sprays and you may also use them as a pest killer. When treating your plants, make sure to spray underneath the leaves as well as the flower buds and new shoots.
- Make sure to never overdo it: excessive use can harm your plants and kill the good insects you actually want to encourage in your garden (such as earthworms, bees, ladybugs, etc.).
- If it’s about to rain, delay the application until the weather is clear since the rain will wash away the spray.
- When using a new recipe, test it on a couple of leaves first to see how the plants reacts. If no signs of damage are present after 2 or 3 days, continue to use the insecticide on the whole plant.