8 Recipes for Homemade Organic Insecticides

Updated on June 18, 2020
melbel profile image

Melanie has been gardening since she was a little girl. Follow her on Instagram @ValpoMedia.

These eight organic pesticides are all-natural ways to control pests in your garden.
These eight organic pesticides are all-natural ways to control pests in your garden. | Source

Growing an organic garden allows you to have tastier fruits and veggies, to eat healthier meals, and to reduce pollutants in the environment. Regardless of your reasons, you'll probably find that insects (and other pests) also love the taste of the fruits and veggies in your garden.

In order to have your organic vegetables make it through the season, you'll need to use some sort of pesticide. Luckily, you have tons of options at your disposal when it comes to keeping pests away, while maintaining that special organic quality for your garden.

Simply try these recipes for environmentally friendly insecticides.

Yummy organically grown carrots.
Yummy organically grown carrots. | Source

All-Purpose Garlic and Onion Spray

Garlic isn't just for warding off vampires! Garlic and onions are great for all-purpose pest controls. To make this spray, you'll need:

  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap
  1. Mix everything together and let it sit for about an hour.
  2. Strain the garlic and onion out, put the liquid in a spray bottle, and enjoy a bug-free zone.
  3. If you want to up the ante, add a tablespoon of cayenne pepper. This will increase the potency of the spray. Isn't cayenne pepper awesome for adding a bit of kick to everything?

This spray loses its potency after a few days, so make sure you use it right away. If you find that you're not using the entire mixture, just cut the recipe in half.

Your garlic and onion spray will be one of your handiest defenses against garden pests, but there are others that have a more specific purpose that you may be interested in (like an insecticide specifically for ants or aphids).

The mighty spray bottle will be of great use in making homemade pesticides.
The mighty spray bottle will be of great use in making homemade pesticides. | Source

Mineral Oil Spray to Get Rid of Eggs and Larvae

Want to get rid of pests before they hatch? Try a mineral oil spray:

  • 1 teaspoon of mineral oil
  • 1 cup of water

You can mix the mineral oil and water right in the spray bottle. Shake and spray onto any plant you wish to treat.

This mixture will not only kill insects, but it will dry up any eggs bugs have laid. Did I mention it's totally plant-friendly?

You can tell that no insect laid their buggy hands on these organic veggies.
You can tell that no insect laid their buggy hands on these organic veggies. | Source

Citrus Cayenne Spray (for Ants)

Add one teaspoon of citrus oil, one teaspoon cayenne pepper, and one cup of warm water to a spray bottle. Shake until well-mixed.

The spray is effective in getting rid of ants.

Get Rid of Bees and Wasps

Wasps and bees hate eucalyptus. Eucalyptus oil can be expensive, so put a few drops in the areas where the bees are "bugging" you.

If you can't get close enough to the area for fear of getting stung, just put the oil into a small spray bottle and add water. Shake this mixture and spray. Even though it's diluted, it should still do the trick and it's far better than getting stung!

These aphids are really going to town on this plant!
These aphids are really going to town on this plant! | Source

Baking Soda (for Ants)

Baking soda really has too many household purposes for someone to not regularly have a million boxes on hand!

Sprinkle a bit of baking soda wherever you have ants that you want to get rid of.

Elder Leaves (for Aphids, Midges, and Cucumber Beetles)

Boil elder leaves (the more leaves, the more potent your mix) for half an hour. Strain out the elder leaves and add the remaining mixture to a sprayer. Spray this mixture in areas where you would like to repel aphids, midges, and cucumber beetles.

Note: Do not consume this mixture. Keep elder leaves and your spray away from children. Elder leaves are poisonous.

Elder Leaves Are Toxic

Be careful no not consume the elder leaves mixture. Keep all elder leaves and your spray away from children, as both are poisonous.

Orange Spray (for Ants, Aphids, and Gnats)

  1. Peel one orange and add the peels to two cups of water.
  2. Boil this and let it sit overnight.
  3. Add a 1/4 teaspoon of castille soap and stir.
  4. Strain out the orange peels and add the mixture to a spray bottle.

This will help you fight ants, aphids, and gnats.

Certain Spices Are Great Against Aphids

Any mixture that contains cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, liquid dish soap, or rosemary as a main ingredient is the best defense against aphids.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Melanie


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    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 

      7 years ago from Johnson County, Kansas

      I love reading and writing about organic gardening. I enjoyed you hub. Voted up and FB shared.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      As well as planting mint helps to reduce some of the bugs

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Mel I am so glad I caught this! I just planted a garden and everything is coming up beautifully but I see evidence that I have free loaders!

      I sprayed stuff to kill the Japanese Beetles on my roses but I didn't want it on the food plants. I am goingnto whip up a batch of garlic and onion spray today! I was watering a bit ago - and I could see stuff jumping around - EW! But I want an organic garden - so if imgo spraying pesticide on it - well there goes the organic!

      Up and way excellent! Thank you very much!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for writing this Melbel! I'm going to make some of what you suggested for my garden. The insects keep eating it up! Voted up and shared! Kelley

    • RoxiM profile image


      8 years ago from West Virginia

      Yesterday I mixed up some homemade insecticidal soap. I used Neem soap (grated a bar into a glass pot), some tea tree oil soap (last bit left in a bottle), cayenne, and garlic. I heated it all on the stove until the soap dissolved, and I'm going to put it in a spray bottle and try it out on my plants. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Virtual Treasures profile image

      Tonja Petrella 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      R Talloni sent me here because of a question I asked. This is fantastic! I am having such a huge problem. Bugs are eating my Clematis as soon as they blossom and my roses look like skeletons. They've never been this bad. I am going to try some of these!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      8 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Very interesting! Now, if you just had a natural remedy for fire ants (much more hardy and attack-resistant than ordinary ants), that would be great! They're taking over my lawn....

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 

      8 years ago from Southern Clime

      I notice that some plants, even fruits and vegetables, are never touched by insects. Is this an indication that they could be useful for fighting off pests? I do not want to prevent pollination. What is your advice?

      I discovered garlic to be a great insecticide when I noticed that insects never ate mine. Thanks for these recipes. I never knew about most of them.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I've seen some of these organic pesticide recipes before, but not all. Thanks bunches for putting this together for our summer season outdoors!

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      8 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      This is great. So well put togather. I love the idea of making this from safe simple ingrediants?

    • moonlake profile image


      8 years ago from America

      I will have to try this I have potato beetles in my flowers and I'm sure when our vegetable garden comes up they will head over there. Thanks for all the good information. Voted up and shared.

    • Ann M Reid profile image

      Ann M Reid 

      8 years ago from Lancaster County, PA

      Great info! Another natural solution that works amazingly well on aphids are beneficial bugs like green lacewings and lady bugs. You can order these online for delivery several times during the season. This combination of green lacewings and ladybugs have reduced my aphid problems by about 95 percent. I understand that chickens are a great solutions for things like cabbage loopers, beetles and slugs. Homemade traps for slugs made from reused small plastic food tubs filled with beer and sunk at ground level attract slugs with their yeasty smell. This is a reasonably effective, natural way of trapping and drowning the slugs, too.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for writing this, melbel. I need to start treating my plants and I wasn't keen on using chemical insecticides. This recipes should do the track. I'll be emailing this to my daughter as she is looking for solutions too.

      Voted up, useful and interesting. Socially shared.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image

      Melissa Flagg COA OSC 

      8 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Oh those veggies look so yummy!!! Thank you for this hub! We just planted a ton of seeds and the seedlings look awesome, but the gnats are driving me insane! This is exactly what I was looking for. THANK YOU!!!


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