7 Organic Insecticides You Can Make At Home

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Natural and organic insecticides are much safer than harmful chemical pesticides. These homemade concoctions contain ingredients you can easily get from your pantry. By using these natural alternatives to pesticides, you are not risking your family’s health while protecting your precious crops.

In this blog, I’ve listed some common and effective ways to make your own organic insecticides at home.

RELATED: Garden Season Tips: Get Rid of Garden Pests Without Using Chemicals

How to Make Your Own Organic Insecticides

1. Tobacco Insecticide

How to Make

  1. Mix 1 cup loose tobacco with 1 gallon of water.
  2. Add 2 tsp of dishwashing liquid. Stir thoroughly.
  3. Let it sit for 24 hours in a warm or sunny location.
  4. Make sure the mixture’s hue is light brown. Add more water if the mixture is too brown. If it’s too light, let it sit for a few more hours.
  5. Strain the mixture to separate and remove tobacco pieces.
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Use and Application

Spray directly to the infected plant. The tobacco spray is useful in targeting crawlers like caterpillars and worms, as well as pests like aphids. The solution is not safe to use on solanaceous plants like tomatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants.

Storage

Store in a cool location like a basement or a garage. The concoction can last for weeks.

2. Neem Oil Insecticide

How to Make

  1. Mix 15 mL organic neem oil with 1/2 tsp dishwashing liquid.
  2. Add the mixture to 2L of warm water. Stir slowly until the solution is diluted.
  3. Transfer to a spray bottle and use immediately.

Use and Application

Neem oil effectively repels a wide variety of garden bugs such as aphids, Japanese beetles, nematodes, locusts, and mites. It also acts as a natural fungicide for powder mildew, black spots, and scabs, among others.

As a preventive measure, regularly spray neem oil solution to the plants’ leaves often attacked by pests.

Storage

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Use within 8 hours after mixing as the components start to breakdown after.

3. Mineral Oil Insecticide

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How to Make

  1. Combine 1/4 cup mild liquid soap and 1 cup white mineral oil. Shake well.
  2. Dilute the concentrate above in water with the following proportions: 1 tbsp for every 4L of water.
  3. Spray directly on affected plants.

Use and Application

White oil with soap covers and suffocates the insects like aphids, mealybugs, thrips, and whiteflies. Though the use of mineral oil is generally safe for plants, avoid application when the temperature is above 83°F.

Storage

Sealed properly, the concentrates (oil and soap) can be stored in a cool and dry place for about three months.

RELATED: 63 Amazing Pest And Insect Repellent Plants You Should Know

4. Mild Soap Solution

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How to Make

  1. Dilute 1 1/2 tsp of mild liquid castile soap in 1L of distilled water.
  2. Dilute the concentrates in water with the following proportions: 1 tbsp for every 4L of water.
  3. Spray directly on the infected surfaces of the plant.

Use and Application

The soap solution dissolves the protective shell of the insect causing it to dehydrate. Continuous application in 2-3 days is recommended.  Use it in the early morning or evening.

Storage

Sealed properly, the concentrates (oil and soap) can be stored in a cool and dry place for about three months.

5. Chili Pepper Pesticide

How to Make

  1. Dry out chili peppers and grind to a fine powder.
  2. Mix 1 1/2 tsp chili powder with 2L of water.
  3. Boil the mixture for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from pot and add another 2L of water. Let cool.
  5. Strain using cheesecloth and add 1-2 tsp of mild soap.
  6. Transfer to a spray bottle.

Use and Application

Capsaicin, the compound that makes chilis hot, is as irritating to bugs as it is to humans. Regular application can also ward off mites and whiteflies. Be careful, however, in handling this concoction. Wear gloves and keep away from eyes, nose, and mouth.

Storage

Store in a refrigerator. The potency can last for a week or two.

6. Garlic Oil Spray

How to Make

  1. Puree 2 bulbs of fresh garlic with little water.
  2. Add 1L of water and mix well.
  3. Strain ohut the garlic bits.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of mineral oil and 1 tsp mild liquid soap. Mix until diluted.
  5. To use, dilute the concentrate in water (1 cup for every 1L of water).

Use and Application

Garlic contains diallyl disulfide and diallyl trisulfide which deters and irritates insects including aphids, beetles, and whiteflies. Spray on infected plant early in the morning or in the evening.

Storage

Store in a bottle or jar. The concentrates can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 week.

7. Tomato Leaves Insecticide

How to Make

  1. Chop 2 cups of fresh tomato leaves.
  2. Soak in 1L and let sit overnight.
  3. Use a strainer to separate the plant materials. Transfer the liquid portion to a spray bottle.

Use and Application

Tomato leaves spray is effective in eliminating aphids. It wards off other unpleasant bugs by attracting beneficial predators.

Storage

Use the mixture immediately.

Watch this video from Project Diaries on his own version of homemade organic insecticides:

As all foreign substance can have effects on plants, always test out your homemade organic insecticides on a small portion of the plant first. Generally, your DIY organic pesticides mustn’t be applied on a hot sunny day to avoid burning the foliage.

These homemade natural pesticides are effective in helping your plants get rid of harmful insects. More importantly, the natural organic pesticides listed above are safe enough for you and your family.

Which do you think is the best organic pesticide for a vegetable garden? Let us know in the comments below.

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