Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Unwanted insects are just part of nature, as gardeners we have to deal with them on a regular basis. While many people resort to harsh chemicals to control their pest population, some of us know that there’s a better way - making organic insecticides from everyday items in our home. When preventative measures aren’t enough to keep your garden pest free, turn to a recipe that is safe for your family and pets.


Hot Sauce Insecticide:


Strong pungent odor and hot taste are a common characteristic of insecticides. Which makes tabasco a perfect way to keep the pests at bay.


Required Ingredients:


  • Tabasco sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 quart water


Put all ingredients in a blender, then strain the mix through a cheesecloth into a spray bottle. This recipe is great for keeping away aphids, whiteflies and caterpillars.


Tomato Leaves:


Tomato leaves are an excellent organic insecticide that is extremely effective, especially against cabbage butterflies and aphids.  While this mixture is safe for humans and animals, some people are allergic to nightshade plants and should take care when handling this insecticide.


Required Ingredients:


  • 1 ounce tomato leaves
  • 1 quart water


Blend thoroughly and strain the mixture through a cheesecloth into a spray bottle. Alternatively, if you don’t want to blend the leaves you can simply chop them, allowing them to release alkaloids and soak them in water overnight before straining the liquid into your spray bottle. Spray the stems and leaves of your plants, paying particular attention to the underside of leaves where pests like to hide.


Soap Insecticide:


Soap based insecticides have been used for hundreds of years to control pests like aphids, mealybugs and spidermites. While many recipes will recommend using dish detergent, I suggest using a more mild soft soap, such as murphy’s oil soap.

Required Ingredients:


  • 3 caps full of liquid soap
  • 1 quart of water


Combine ingredients and mix vigorously. As with any product, be sure to do a test on a part of the plant that isn’t very visible to make sure there’s no adverse reaction. I also suggest avoiding using this spray when there’s full sun on your plants, as it may cause a plant burn.


Dead Insects:


I know this one doesn’t sound appealing, but hear me out. This recipe might take more effort and involve more of an ‘ick’ factor, but it can be extremely effective.




  • Collect several of the pests that are plaguing your plants.
  • Grind them into a powder.
  • Mix this powder with a quart of water.


Pour this unappealing yet efficient mix into a spray bottle and use on your plants.


Neem Oil Spray:


Neem juice contains over 50 natural insecticides and has been used to ward off pests for a very long time now.


Required Ingredients:



Stir mixture slowly, add to a spray bottle and use immediately. Neem oil doesn't store well after being mixed with water so use it within 8 hours.


Using chemical free pest control is not only safer for your family and furry friends, but better for the environment. Making your own insecticides will save you money and in the long run contribute to saving the planet. Organic pest control will leave you with a happy, healthy garden free from bad bugs. 

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