11 Safe Homemade Remedies to Eliminate Garden Pests
A challenge to many home gardeners is winning the war on garden pests that seeks to make a meal of their garden plants and by also spreading diseases without plants having a fighting chance to survive.
This can be frustrating because acquiring the knowledge is the difference between coming to your plant’s rescue helping them bounce back to good health or reading them their final rights.
The good news is we can do something to give our garden plants a fighting chance with the use of chemicals but then there is the flip side of the coin because many insecticides are harmful to humans and pets. What we don’t want is to put our families and pets at risk besides spending a few bucks when that hard-earned dollar could go towards something else.
Don’t despair the story does not end here, there is still hope where both you and your garden plants can come out on top winning the war on garden insect pests. Do you know that there are many products in your pantry and fridge which can not only save you a few dollars but can help to win the war on many of these garden pests?
Here are 11 simple homemade insecticides that are safe around your family and pets while giving you good results.
Homemade remedies for garden pests
1. Hot pepper flakes- I love a little spice at times in many of the dishes I prepare but what is also amazing about pepper flakes is they can be used to eliminate soft-bodied insects such as aphids, mealy bugs, spittlebugs, whiteflies, thrips, leafhoppers, etc.
How to prepare-Mix 4 tablespoons of pepper flakes into a gallon of water. Let this mixture sit for 24 hours and then strain, add 1 teaspoon of dish liquid. Another option is instead of hot pepper flakes using cayenne pepper which will turn up the heat.
To make cayenne pepper mixture add two tablespoons of pepper to a gallon of water, add several drops of dish liquid which will increase its effectiveness.
Give this solution a good stir and let sit overnight. The day following strain and add to a 32oz spray bottle. Before spraying shake well and then apply. Spray every 7 days getting total coverage of the leaves until insect pest is brought under control.
2. Onions-Onions have such a wonderful flavor. I love using this super veggie in soups and salads. Onions, however, can make you cry, if you don’t believe me then try peeling and chopping up one.
The chemical compound that makes you cry when peeling an onion is called syn-propanethial-s-oxide which stimulates the lachrymal that is a gland that is a part of our eyes.
Chop up a medium or large onion, adding a cup of water, blend until it turns to liquid, strain, then pour the mixture in a spray bottle and you are set to go. Aphids hate this solution and will be eliminated.
3. Garlic is a super herb that has a wonderful aroma while giving your foods that WOW. Garlic is one of my favorites, I have used this herb in many of my dishes over the years. Besides the great flavor, garlic has many medical benefits such as purifying your blood and fighting infections just to name a few.
But as pleasant as garlic is this herb is hated by many soft-bodied insects such as scales, aphids, mealy bugs, thrips, whiteflies, leafhoppers and will send them running.
To prepare this mixture cut up and blend a clove of large garlic until it turns to liquid. Let it sit overnight then strain, add a bit of cayenne pepper and a drop of dish liquid. Stir this mixture thoroughly and add to a spray bottle. Shake well and you are armed and dangerous to win the war on these insect pests.
4. I know you will find this one pretty interesting I know I did and that is using potatoes to eliminate aphids which I think is so cool. A baked potato with melted cheese is so yummy and mouthwatering I can taste it now how about you?
But the question is how do we use potatoes to eliminate aphids and ants? I am so happy that you asked. Sit tight here we go, this mixture is so simple and effective.
Simply save the water in which the potatoes were boiled, add a drop of dish liquid place it in a spray bottle shake well and your enemies are at your mercy. This solution will have aphids and ants screaming for their mama.
5. Soapy water-Soapy water is pretty amazing in getting rid of those unwanted garden bugs that spells doom and gloom to our garden plants. The fragrance of soapy water is really great but as wonderful as this fragrance is garden insect pests hate it.
The reaction this mixture has on garden insect pests is that it makes it hard for them to breathe causing them to suffocate along with having a negative reaction to their bodies.
Insects such as mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids just to name a few won’t stand a chance with this solution.
6. Epsom salt has been around for generations. As a child growing up I would hear the older generation talk about the power of the Epsom salt.
Epsom salt is effective in taking away aches and pains after a hard day’s work or a day at the gym, adding Epsom salt to your bath, soaking in it for about half an hour or more will help in giving you a good nights rest.
But do you know that this salt can be used in the garden benefiting garden plants in so many ways? Sprinkling Epsom salt around the base of your garden plants once a week will add magnesium to the soil which increases absorption of nutrients.
Epsom salt can also be used to eliminate beetles and slugs. Add half a cup of Epsom salt to 2 gallons of water let dissolve shake well and add to a 32oz spray bottle and you are good to go.
7. Water is essential and known as the liquid of life. Without water, there would be no life form. From the largest animals to the most tin microscopic organisms is dependent upon water.
Where there is water, you are sure to find life forms. As humans, our bodies are made up of 70% water. Water has so many uses including being used to eliminate insect pests.
To eliminate ant hills from your garden area bring half a gallon to a gallon of water to a boil be very careful when pouring hot water, pour slowly on the hill.
This is a safe and effective way to eliminate ants without the use of harmful chemicals.
8. Eggs are popular, especially during the breakfast hour. Whether we are preparing them in the morning or purchasing breakfast on our way to work.
But do you know besides eating eggs, the shells also have a part to play in the life of our garden plants? eggshells can be used to add nutrients to the soil along with repelling garden pests.
Don’t trash the eggshells save them, allow them to dry then crash them. Scatter crash eggshells through your garden will keep slugs and snails away because the jagged edges will cut into the snails and slugs’ bodies delivering an unpleasant feeling which will keep them out of your garden.
Another benefit of eggshells in the garden is as shells breakdown they will enrich the soil by adding calcium which is good for garden plants.
9. Bananas are loaded with vitamins besides other benefits that help to keep our bodies healthy and strong. This superfood is mostly eaten during the breakfast hour. But once you are finish feasting on this healthy fruit don’t trash the peel because the banana peel can also be used in your home garden.
Place a few dry banana peels around your rose bushes will repel aphids and as the peels break down it will add potassium to your garden plants because bananas are rich in potassium.
10. Garlic-mint insect spray is a great way to send insect pest packing. Both garlic and mint has a pleasant aroma and can give our foods that WOW. In fact, these herbs are used worldwide in so many kitchens.
But what I love about this mixture is what it can do as far as keeping insect pests at bay. Combine a few garlic cloves along with some mint leaves and half a cup to a cup of water.
Add a drop of dish liquid and a bit of cayenne pepper, stir this mixture together and let sit overnight. Strain and place into a 32oz spray bottle. Spray this solution around your plants to get rid of garden pests such as mealy bugs, aphids, thrips, whiteflies, etc…
11. Vinegar is used to clean chicken, can make an all-purpose cleaner, use as a hair rinse, and in so many other ways. But what I love about apple cider vinegar is it can be used as a repellent to keep ants and other insect pests at bay.
To make this solution you will need half a cup of water along with half a cup of vinegar, add to a 32oz spray bottle, shake well and you are armed and dangerous to send ants packing.
Reapply this solution as it wears off and where the presence of ants are seen. So there you have it natural remedies that can work wonders for your garden plants.
The final word
Who says that you have to break the piggy bank buying or purchasing harmful chemicals that can be so costly when you can use these homemade remedies that are safe, save you money and eliminate garden pests at the same time.
This is what I call smart gardening so give these methods a try, you will be glad that you did as you get the desired results. Homemade remedies for garden pests. Now that’s smart gardening.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.