Melanie has a BS in physical science and is in grad school for analytics and modeling. She also runs a YouTube channel: The Curious Coder.
Growing an organic garden allows you to have tastier fruits & veggies, healthier meals, and to reduce pollutants in the environment. Go you! 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.
Garlic and 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.
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).
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 and 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!
Elder Leaves (for Aphids, Midges, and Beetles)
Boil elder leaves for half an hour—the more leaves, the more potent your mix. 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, 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 an 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, or 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.
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.
Questions & Answers
Question: How do I make eucalyptus oil?
Answer: Eucalyptus oil is made from the leaves of a eucalyptus tree. You can make eucalyptus oil by crushing eucalyptus leaves and boiling them in water to release the oils. Alternatively, eucalyptus can be purchased at large supermarkets in the vitamin or alternative medicine section.
© 2017 Melanie Shebel
RTalloni on March 12, 2018:
The mineral oil recipe is new to me. Thanks also for the reminder to restock my stash of baking soda. Spring is coming and now's the time to prepare for battle with the pests.
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on July 27, 2017:
Thanks for these great recipes for natural methods to discourage pests. This is the best way to go!
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 12, 2017:
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.
Peggy Woods on July 12, 2017:
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.