Not all insects that go to gardens and farms are bad for your plants. Even in homes, applying chemical pesticides might bring more harm than safety. Switching to herbal pest control remedies does not only save you money, but they are, in fact, more effective than chemicals. We will share with you the best homemade solutions to control pests in your homes, backyards, and farms.
1. Sizzle them with Soap Spray
One significant way to get rid of aphids, beetles, whiteflies, and insects is a homemade soap spray. This technique is proven to be highly effective in controlling tiny insects. When choosing this option, prepare 1 ½ teaspoon of a moderately active liquid soap and mix it with 1 quart of water.
Start spraying the herb-scented soap mixture over the infected parts of the plants. It is recommended to use this homemade remedy during evenings and early mornings. Applying it in the hottest part of the day such as noon is not advisable.
2. Inexpensive oil spray
We can eliminate little troublesome insects like thrips, mites, and aphids with a homemade insecticide made with mixed vegetable oil and mild herbal soap. When preparing this oil-based insecticide, ready a cup of vegetable oil, pour one tablespoon of soap, put in a container, and shake well. Upon using, add two teaspoons of the solution to 1 quart of water (cover and shake).
The oil spray insecticide works in the same manner as the soap spray solution above. You have to apply the spray directly to parts of the plant affected by the devastating insects. The oil in the mixture serves as a suffocating material to block the respiration of insects and eventually get rid of them.
3. Garlic insecticide spray
We all know that garlic has a pungent aroma. This sharp scent is the key reason why garlic is useful to shy away insects. Garlic is one of those commonly found herbs in kitchens that can knock out and eliminate tenacious insects. To make this spray, take two bulbs of garlic, add water, and puree them using a blender or food processor. Overnight, let the mixture sit and filter the garlic particles out. Put the garlic water in a spray bottle.
If possible, try adding ½ cup of vegetable oil and one teaspoon of mild liquid soap, and make it full by adding water. Once you decide to use this spray, mix 1 cup of the solution with 1 quart of water for maximum effectiveness in your garden or backyard.
4. Chili pepper spray
Do you love those spicy bits in your dishes? It may be surprising that your kitchen partner can get rid of annoying insects that roam around your garden. Chili pepper can be an excellent homemade natural insect repellent against a diverse set of pests. To create one, you need chili pepper or pureed fresh Chili pepper from the market. When you have powder as the vital ingredient, put one tablespoon of the chili powder or puree, several drops of mild soap, and 1 quart of water in a container.
On the other hand, when you have fresh Chili Pepper, puree or blend ½ cup of chopped pepper with 1 cup of water. Boil the mixture as you add another cup of water. Let the mixture cool after a few minutes. Strain the chili material out of the liquid solution and add liquid soap drops into it. A hint of caution, chili peppers are also potent to humans. Be sure to wear prescribed protective equipment when handling them to prevent contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth.
5. Tomato leaf as natural insecticide
Tomato leaves surprisingly showed insecticidal properties. Being part of the nightshade family, tomato plants contain alkaloids that can repel insects. These substances inside tomato leaves are called “tomatine” that are most effective when controlling aphids and other insects. Start making tomato leaf spray by chopping 2 cups worth of tomato leaves.
A simple suggestion: when picking the leaves, you can opt to get the bottom part of the plant. You can puree the leaves and add 1 quart of water. Let them sit overnight and filter afterward. This mixture is strong enough to protect your garden from the pesky insects.
Neem oil insecticide
Science proves that neem tree extract can disrupt growth stages among insects of different kinds. It attacks and effectively kills insects when they were in the form of eggs, larvae, or even adults which makes neem oil a powerful natural insecticide. To use this particular oil, put two teaspoons of neem oil, one teaspoon of liquid soap, and 1 quart of water in a container and mix them well. Neem oil does not only function as an insect-killer but also as a preventing agent against pests.
Neem oil acts as an antifeedant for insects that eat up leaves and plant parts. Since it is biodegradable, neem oil is non-toxic to pets, buts, fish, and other wildlife. You can usually find neem oil in garden stores or natural food market outlets.
Crafting a combined insect spray
Several pest-control research sites have shown one recipe for a good herbal insecticide. To make it, chop and puree one bulb of garlic, small onion, add one teaspoon of pepper powder and let sit for an hour. Filter the mixture, and you can optionally add liquid soap to make it stronger.
When applying, spray in full-strength over the leaves and plant surfaces. Make sure to cover the undersides as well to maximize its impact and protection. To extend shelf life, you can store this in a refrigerator for up to 7 days.
The stated natural herbal remedies suggested above are the most trusted, inexpensive ways to mitigate and prevent infestations. Every gardener has his/her style of mixing pesticide ingredients depending on experience and type of insect one is dealing.
True enough, the bottom line is that you don’t just get rid of insects and kill all of them. It is necessary to keep the balance in the ecosystem, and there are some beneficial insects, fungi, and other microbes that cause no harm. Just keep exploring and who knows, you might be the next pest control guru. You’d also want to check out this article on seven powerful home remedies to kill roaches naturally.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org