Homemade Pesticides and Bug Sprays

Are garden pests mauling your fresh, tender veggies? If you’re losing the battle against hungry bugs and garden insects, try these homemade pesticide recipes and bug sprays for an all-natural solution to your garden pest problem.

Hot Cayenne Homemade Insecticide Recipe

Insecticide Recipes with Chili PowderHot, smelly and all-around noxious, cayenne powder and garlic pesticide is a popular DIY insecticide that can be used to repel insects and small rodents (like squirrels and bunnies). Personally, I don’t recommend using it against animals (as it can damage their eyes and there are more effective ways to keep squirrels from digging up your bulbs), but it does seem like a popular solution on a lot of garden blogs and forums.

To make this natural insecticide, mix 7-10 crushed garlic cloves, 1 tbsp of powdered cayenne pepper, and 3 cups hot water. Allow the mixture to sit for 2-3 days, strain away the garlic, and spray on plants and bugs as needed. Resist the urge to taste this concoction, however, as garlic is prone to producing the bacteria that cause botulism.

Citrus Slug-Slaying Homemade Pesticide

If you’ve got a slug and snail problem, the recipe for this acidic and lemony-fresh homemade pesticide should do the trick.

Make Your Own Insectide with LemonsTo make this noxious homemade bug spray, grate the rinds of 2 lemons and 2 oranges (or substitute grapefruit instead), then add the peels to 3 cups boiling water. Remove from heat, cover and let steep overnight. To use, strain, pour into a spray bottle, and spray directly onto bugs and slugs. For added effectiveness, follow up with a dash salt (and watch your slugs sizzle).

Homemade Tobacco Pesticide

It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that tobacco is just as poisonous to garden pests as it is to people. And, while it is a powerful nerve poison, it makes an easy-to-use (but deadly effective) main ingredient for this powerful yet natural homemade pesticide.

Homemade Pesticide and Insecticide: Tobacco SprayTo make this DIY insecticide, mix one cup tobacco (organic, if you prefer) with one gallon hot water. Let steep for 24 hours, then apply as needed.

WARNING: Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe. (Case in point: Komodo dragons.) While this homemade pesticide is rumored to be safe on any veggie that’s not in the tomato/pepper/eggplant family, I personally doubt that I would use it. With the increasing evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides are behind declining bee populations,  I wouldn’t feel comfortable using it in my gardens. Or, at the very least, I would use it in extremely limited amounts (due to its high toxicity). Should you choose to use it, please be careful and watch your bee populations for signs of distress. Or, you know what, just roll with your pests until the good bugs show up. It gets better.

Looking for other natural ways to control garden bugs and pests? Try attracting beneficial garden bugs like these good bugs here and these beneficial insects here.

Images graciously provided by Jennifer C,  Daniella Segura, and 12point1. Thanks!


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