Protecting your plants from a pest infestation is essential when growing a garden. Plenty of pesticides are available on the market today, but many of them contain chemicals that aren’t healthy for plants or those eating the sprayed produce. Consider these simple DIY organic pesticides that you can make right at home with items you already have!
DIY Organic Pesticides
By: Henry Walsh
Diatomaceous Earth, also known as D.E., is a natural product that is composed of minuscule fossilized plants found in the Earth’s crust. Commonly used on farms with small animals, D.E. helps keep mites away thanks to the sharp edges of the small fossil particles. This powder can be found in most garden centers or from online distributors, but can also be found in the garbage after making breakfast, by using eggshells. Grind up cleaned eggshells into a small granular or powder form. The powder cuts insects but doesn’t harm anything else. Merely sprinkle the Diatomaceous Earth around the base of plants in the garden to keep them safe from intruding pests.
Oil & Soap Spray
Many small insects cannot only harm plants but can do substantial damage in a short period. If you notice mites or aphids on your plants consider making this simple spray insecticide that will rid the plant of these mighty little eaters.
Mix 1 cup of organic vegetable, canola, or sunflower oil with 1 Tablespoon of organic soap in a jar. Add 1 quart of water to a spray bottle mixed with 2 teaspoons of the oil and soap mixture. Shake until combined and then directly spray onto plants.
The oil will cover the insects and kill them without hurting the plants. Spray the plants about every ten days to keep insects away.
Many large pests can consume an entire garden in just minutes. Residents who live in an area with a high deer population should consider protecting their garden from becoming a buffet for neighborhood animals. One of the easiest ways to deter pests from munching on plants is to sprinkle soap shavings around onto your soil. The heavy scent of the soap is a deterrent to deer who don’t like certain fragrances. Full bars of soap can also be placed within the garden on spears to deter pests as well. Bugs should also keep away from soaped areas as the soap can dehydrate them.
Vegetable Infused Spray
Funny enough, you can even use the vegetables in your garden to help fight off pests! Dice ½ cup of chili peppers and ½ cup of onions or garlic and mix together in a blender. Add the blended vegetables into 2 cups of water allowing the mixture to sit in a covered container in the sun for at least 24 hours. Strain the mixture into a spray bottle and use the vegetable infused water as an organic pesticide. Insects don’t like the potent fragrance or taste of these items and will keep away from plants and garden areas covered in this natural DIY pesticide.
Citrus & Pepper Spray
For those residents fighting ant infestations, using a citrus and pepper spray can be a great tool in keeping ants away. Mix 10 drops of citrus essential oil and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper into 1 cup of warm water. Shake the mixture in a spray bottle and apply to ant infested areas and trails around the home and garden.
Mix 30 mL of mineral oil into 1 liter of water for a useful pesticide spray. This mixture dehydrates insects and their eggs making the spray vital to a garden with a massive pest infestation. If you notice any eggs on the underside of leaves make sure to use this organic pesticide that won’t harm plants and is easy to make.
Choosing to use organic pesticides in your garden is a healthy option for keeping your garden safe as well as refraining from ingesting chemicals from garden produce. Grab some spray bottles and consider all of these DIY organic pesticides that can be mixed up at home and easily used to deter pests from destroying your garden.
Henry Walsh is a gardening writer and eco-conscious living advocate. He recently began his homesteading journey after many years of incorporating the principles into his urban lifestyle.