Making Your Own Homemade Pesticide
Oftentimes, our gardens are full of edible plants like fruits and vegetables that are just as attractive to insects as they are to us, if not more. Where there are plants, there will be pests. Finding all of your seedlings demolished overnight can have you reaching for the bottle of pesticide. But pesticides don't just kill the pesty insects; they also annihilate the good ones like bees and ladybugs. Pesticides are not only harmful to insects, but many are harmful to humans, too, making your garden unsafe for children and animals. So what can you do? The best and most often cheapest solution is to make your own homemade pesticide sprays.
What goes in it?
Homemade pesticides are very easy to make, and 9 times out of 10, you already have everything you need to get started! To make your own pesticide, all you need is some dish soap (this helps it stick to the leaves), water, and a handful of pest-repelling herbs.
Many plants have developed ways of repelling pests. Herbs are a good example; herbs like basil and rosemary have grown strong fragrances that repel sap-sucking insects. By collecting the leaves of these fragrant herbs and boiling them with soap and water, you can spray with the pest repelling properties the herbs have developed.
The best herbs to use in your pest repelling spray:
- Basil repels flies, mosquitoes, sap-suckers, and tomato hornworms.
- Borage repels squash bugs and tomato hornworms, and it doubles up as a fertilizer due to its rich potassium and silica content
- Catnip repels leaf-eating and sap-sucking insects
- Elder repels ants, aphids, beetles, moths, fleas, and whiteflies
- Lavender repels harmful insects and rodents
- Marigolds repel asparagus beetles, chafer beetles, potato beetles, tomato hornworms, whiteflies, and nematodes.
- Mint repels ants, moths, and aphids
- Nasturtiums repel cucumber beetles, potato beetles, squash beetles, and tomato hornworms
- Oregano repels sap-sucking insects
- Rosemary repels leaf-eating insects Sage repels leaf-eating insects
- Tansy repels ants, flies, fruit flies, whiteflies, beetles, leaf-eating insects, moths, and mice
- Thyme repels harmful insects
How to make it!
Recipe: Fill half a pot with pest-repelling herbs from your garden or pantry and add boiling water. Mix well; you can boil it on the stove to make a more potent extract. Allow the solution to settle for 1 - 2 days. Filter the solution and add 2 tablespoons of dish soap. Spray your pest-repelling solution onto the tops and bottoms of the leaves.