Keeping the amount of insects, bugs and crawly things controlled in any garden using homemade insecticides can be as simple as planting companion plants in most cases.
This is where you sow the type of plant you want to grow alongside a plant that actively repels the insects most likely to infest the one you wanted all along.
Unfortunately, while companion planting is the most environmentally friendly way to control insects and pests, sometimes an infestation is just too heavy and something a little stronger may be required.
The majority of people will go to the store and buy a commercial insecticide spray to control pests.
But did you know you can make your own homemade insecticides that are just as effective as the store-bought sprays, they’re much better for the environment and they’re cheaper too!
Homemade Aphid Spray
Aphids are the tiny little green or black bugs that attack newly forming leaves and new buds on your plants.
An aphid infestation can destroy the yield on fruit trees or inhibit the growth of new blooms on flowering plants. A severe infestation can destroy foliage making new leaves appear curled and stunted.
To get rid of a minor aphid infestation easily without commercial insecticides, simply squeeze a few aphids between your thumb and forefinger.
Wipe the residue on the surrounding leaves and buds and any aphids near the area will move out.
For a more severe infestation, collect more bug corpses. Squash them and mix them well with a little water and put the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray liberally over the affected plant and the aphids will leave.
Homemade Aphid Insecticide
Some people might not be happy with the idea of squashing hundreds of little aphid corpses into a spray bottle, just to make homemade insecticides, so here’s an alternative recipe to keep aphid infestations under control.
Mix three cap-fulls of Castile soap with a quart of water and spray onto affected plants.
This is a very gentle soap so the solution won’t harm plants or animals but will get rid of soft-bodies insects quickly. This mixture will need to be re-applied after rain as it will wash away.
Homemade Spider-mite Repellent
Spider-mites are very common plant pests.
They can damage and injure your plants by causing discoloration of the leaves and often you may notice little flecks or spots on foliage. Spider-mites feed on the leaves, sapping nutrients which can lead to loss of leaves and eventually death of the plant.
High numbers of spider-mites can often be found in gardens where over-use of commercial insecticides have killed off their native predators.
The best way to repel spider-mites is to buy plants that attract lady-beetles who will happily eat these pests and keep numbers low.
For an effective insecticide try mixing one teaspoon of Tabasco sauce with four cloves of garlic and one quart of water.
Mix very well in a blender and strain out any larger pieces. Pour into a spray bottle and spray liberally over any affected plants.
You should find this mixture will also help repel whiteflies, aphids and caterpillars as well as spider-mites.
Homemade Flea Spray
Nobody likes fleas so any options to get rid of them from your pets or your home are always welcomed. Here are some ideas for homemade flea repellents.
When washing your dog, add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to a bucket of water and rinse your dog’s coat with this solution after you’ve shampooed. Fleas hate it!
To keep fleas out of your carpets and rugs, simply tear open a few Earl Grey tea bags and sprinkle the tea leaves over your carpets.
Leave these overnight at least and then vacuum them up. You won’t find any fleas in your carpets.
Homemade Mosquito Repellent
Mosquitoes might seem like annoying blood-sucking insects, but they’re actually quite sensitive and very easy to control.
If you want to keep mosquito numbers down around your home or away from your family while you’re camping, entertaining or otherwise enjoying being outdoors, here are some simple tips for repelling mosquitoes.
The simplest mosquito repellent is to plant specific shrubs, herbs or flowers that actively deter mosquitoes. These can include basil, peppermint, rosemary, geranium or lemon grass.
While mosquitoes also won’t go anywhere near onions or garlic, these aren’t quite so attractive growing near doorways around your home.
If you’d prefer to have a little more protection closer to you then you can make a simple repellent oil by mixing 10 drops of peppermint oil with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Stir the ingredients together to be sure they’ve blended well and then dab a few drops onto your skin to keep mosquitoes away.
To keep guests or visitors safe from mosquito attacks you can try this homemade insecticide.
Place a saucer of water in the middle of your table and drop a few drops of lemon detergent into the water. Mosquitoes will love the smell and come to investigate but the detergent will kill them quickly.
Best and Cheapest Weed Killer
by Jessica (Portland, Oregon USA)
Straight undiluted white vinegar! Honest!! I used a new sprayer (as I didn’t want any chemical residues) to keep the weeds/grasses at bay on our gravel driveway. Its best on a sunny day and be careful that you do not get close to plants you want to keep as it IS very effective!)
Works great for the weeds in cracks in cement.