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DIY Organic Pesticides for Natural Gardening

Updated on August 5, 2017
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Melanie is a chemistry major and a physics minor at Purdue Northwest with an interest in organic chemistry and research in protein folding.

Growing an organic garden allows you to have tastier fruits & veggies, healthier meals, and to reduce pollutants in the environment. Go you! (You're pretty awesome!) You'll probably find that insects (and other pests) also love the taste of the fruits and veggies growing 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, there are several options for pest control that can be used while still maintaining the organic quality of your garden.

Organically grown carrots still need help in warding away pests! Luckily there are some more environmentally friendly methods than commercial pesticides.
Organically grown carrots still need help in warding away pests! Luckily there are some more environmentally friendly methods than commercial pesticides. | Source

Garlic & Onion Spray (for All Pests)

Garlic isn't just for warding off vampires! Garlic and onions are great for all-purpose pest control. 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

Mix everything together and let it sit for about an hour. Strain out the garlic and onion, put the liquid in a spray bottle, and enjoy a bug-free zone.

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.

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?

Your garlic and onion spray will be one of your handiest defense against garden pests, but there are other pesticides that have a more specific purpose (like an insecticide specifically for ants or aphids.)

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

Mineral Oil Spray (for Insects, Eggs, and Larvae)

Getting rid of pests is important, but killing eggs helps prevent them from returning. Want to get rid of pests before they hatch? Use this handy 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 plants you wish to treat.

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

Citrus Cayenne Spray (for Ants)

Need something effective for getting rid of 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. This spray will help you get rid of ants in and around your home.

Eucalyptus (for Bees & Wasps)

Bees and wasps 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, put the oil into a small spray bottle and add water. Shake the mixture and spray. Even though it's diluted, it should still do the trick and it sure beats getting stung!

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 and voilà, ant-be-gone!

Aphids can really go to town on an organic garden, but your veggies don't have to be completely defenseless.
Aphids can really go to town on an organic garden, but your veggies don't have to be completely defenseless. | Source

Elder Leaves - DO NOT CONSUME (for Aphids, Midges, and 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.

Do not consume this mixture and do not use in an area accessible to your pets or children. Keep elder leaves and your spray away from children. Elder leaves are poisonous.

Orange Spray (for Ants, Aphids, and Gnats)

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

This will help you get rid of ants, aphids, and gnats.

Cayenne, Cinnamon, Cloves, Pepper, Soap, Rosemary (for Aphids)

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

© 2017 Melanie Shebel

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    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 7 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      Thanks for these great recipes for natural methods to discourage pests. This is the best way to go!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Using these recipes to get rid of pests sounds like a great idea. I always prefer to use natural methods when possible. Thanks for sharing all the instructions.

    • profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 months ago

      This is valuable information to know when fighting garden pests. I knew some of this but not all. Thank you! Will pin this to my gardening board.