8 Eco-Friendly DIY Pesticides
By Katie Kuchta
Gardening is a great way to raise your own produce, increasing your overall health and saving money at the same time. Unfortunately, many gardeners find themselves having to resort to chemical pesticides to eliminate harmful, destructive pests from their garden plants.
There are alternatives to these cancer-causing chemicals–organic pesticides that you can make right at home. These easy to make pesticides allow you to save money and improve your health while simultaneously protecting the planet.
1. Salt Spray
Many pests are deterred by salt, including slugs and spider mites. Mix salt (Himalayan pink crystal salt is suggested) with a gallon of warm water and spray onto the garden’s affected areas. Try not to spray directly on the plant when possible, as this can produce a drying effect, but instead on the soil around the garden’s entrance.
2. Orange Citrus Oil
While citrus oil smells appealing to us, it is a deterrent to many common pests, including slugs, cockroaches, and ants. Mix an ounce of orange oil with a gallon of water and a splash of castile soap. It can be sprayed directly on the pests or dabbed on a surface to provide long-lasting benefits.
3. Diatomaceous Earth
This compound works well at repelling all kinds of insects, both inside the house as well as in the garden. This product causes insects to dry out and die but is not poisonous to humans or animals. It works well on its own, as well as when combined with chili pepper or powder. A cup of diatomaceous earth, such as egg shells, mixed with half a gallon of water is all you need. Let it sit overnight once you mix it, then shake well before applying it to the garden.
4. Chrysanthemum Flowers
These flowers can help repel insects on their own, but work especially well when its flowers are dried, ground, and then boiled into a potent brew. These flowers contain pyrethrum, which kills insects by infecting their nervous system and completely immobilizing them. To make a chrysanthemum spray, simply boil the dried leaves in a liter of water for about twenty minutes. Once it has cooled and been sprayed on the garden, it can produce insect-repelling effects for up to two months.
5. Neem Oil
Neem is one of the most famous DIY pesticides, boasting a long history of traditional use. Ancient cultures used neem as an all-natural pest repellent, its juice is regarded as one of the most potent pesticides. The neem leaf itself is bitter but entirely eco-friendly. To make an easy pesticide, combine half an ounce or organic Neem oil with a half teaspoon of liquid soap and two quarts of warm water. It can be used immediately and will be effective for weeks.
6. Eucalyptus Oil
Many people already have eucalyptus oil kicking around the house, as it is a revered essential oil that provides a wide array of health and wellness benefits. This oil helps to repel flies, as well as stinging insects like wasps. All you need to do is sprinkle a few drops of oil near the areas where the insects tend to frequent. It requires frequent reapplications but can be incredibly effective, especially when used in areas near your house.
7. Garlic Spray
Garlic has an unpleasant aroma to pests and can be mixed with water to create a powerful insecticide. This biodegradable option is effective against whiteflies, aphids, and spider mites, and doesn’t produce the same pungent odor after the spray has dried.
8. Hot Pepper Wax
This natural pesticide keeps away dozens of garden pests, including aphids and whiteflies, as it produces a spicy taste and aroma that repel many species of insects. It also helps protect plants against inclement weather. This pesticide is made from blended cayenne or habanero peppers mixed with two cups of water. It should steep for 24 hours before use, and can also deter mammal pests like squirrels and rabbits.
When considering all-natural, eco-friendly pesticides for your garden, be sure to consider all options before use. Some pesticides may be damaging to certain plants, or impart a distinct flavor upon finished crops. These options do not damage plants or beneficial wildlife and pollinators, making them safe to use in any environment.
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