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Homemade Insecticide Recipes

Many gardeners prefer to make their own insecticide rather than buying products from the nursery or garden store. This is a guide about homemade insecticide recipes.


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January 29, 2009 Flag

I use soap to spray for insects in garden. Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid soap with water in a quart spray bottle from Dollar store. Spray once a week and after a rain.

By Kathleen from Dothan, AL

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June 19, 20090 found this helpful

I have already rid my garden of aphids and it seems like all the insects, even though the weather has been extremely rainy. Puree one yellow onion with 2 cloves minced garlic. Mix in 2 cups of water and 2 Tbsp. lemon soap. Strain and put in spray bottle. I made a huge batch (4 times the recipe) and I'm not sure I will need it again until next year. One dose and I'm done!

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April 27, 2009 Flag

If you have bugs in your garden, here's an easy, organic and free way to get rid of them. If you're squeamish about this, put on rubber gloves, garden gloves, or latex gloves and pluck the bugs off the plants, one species at a time, and put them in a cupful of water. You'll get used to it enough to do it bare-handed later, which is much easier. It may sound icky, but it works.


Then take the water and pour it into your blender and blend until you can't see the actual critters any more. Put the water into a spray bottle and spray it on the the same plants you took the bugs from. This prompts a "danger, Will Robinson" response from that type of bug and keeps them away.

Just do one kind of bug at a time, be they beetles, aphids or whatever else you encounter. No pesticides, no traps to empty, just a lovely, bug-free garden. And don't worry about the blender. Wash it as usual and it'll be just fine.

Source: I think I read this in "Organic Gardening" magazine years ago.

By pollylev

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June 19, 20090 found this helpful

Ditto to the second blender, but what a clever tip!

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February 24, 2010 Flag

Rhubarb leaves can be used to make an effective organic insecticide (cabbage caterpillars, aphids, peach and cherry slug, etc).



  1. Boil for about 15 or 20 minutes.

  2. Let cool

  3. Strain the liquid into container.

  4. Dissolve some soap flakes in this liquid and use it to spray against aphids.
Special Note: Do not eat leaves, they are poisonous.


By Kathy from New Zealand

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February 26, 20100 found this helpful

If the leaves are poison then you couldn not spray on veggies. Just the flowers and roses.

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May 13, 2009 Flag

We all know the risks of nicotine by smoking, but the same is true for bugs by eating. Rid your garden of pests by way of nicotine. Get a can of chewing tobacco, flavored or not color. Strain through a coffee filter.

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October 12, 2011 Flag

Aphids on a plant.

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This page contains homemade aphid spray recipes. Aphids thrive in temperate regions and feast on plants. They are one of the most pesky and destructive pests that gardeners have to deal with.


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November 24, 2004 Flag

To keep those pesky insects away from your plants, combine one bulb of garlic, 1 small onion, and 1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper in the blender. Mix with 1 quart water and let stand for one hour. Then add 1 Tbsp. Ivory liquid and mist your plants! By Rachel's mom

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May 15, 2008 Flag

Shake well. Spray every 8 to ten days. Water well before and after spraying. Don't spray blooms and don't wash spray off. Make new spray each time you spray as the chlorine content will weaken

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March 25, 2005 Flag

To help keep the worms and leaf eating bugs off your garden plants use jalapeno peppers, boil and strain, put the pepper "broth" in about a gallon of warm water and spray plants, this is a very safe bug repellent. Use about 6-8 peppers to a quart of water.

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July 12, 2006 Flag
Q: My husband would like a recipe for making his own bug killer to use on tomatoes, potatoes and hostas. He would like a spray on pesticide if there is one available. Thank you so much.

Barb Zone: 4a

barbo37 from Fairview, MI

A: Barbo37,

There are many variations of this floating around in print and on the web, but here is another good all around recipe for repelling bugs:

  • 1 cup liquid dish soap (or Murphy's Oil Soap or baby shampoo)
  • 1 cup tobacco tea (3 fingers of chewing tobacco in a nylon stocking and soak it in a gallon of hot water until the mixture is dark in color)
  • 1 cup antiseptic mouthwash
  • 1/4 cup of Tabasco Sauce (or substitute chopped hot peppers)

Mix these ingredients in a 20-gallon hose end sprayer, filling the rest of the sprayer with water, and spray your plants. You can also reduce these measurements down to proportions that suit a hand held spray bottle. Slugs and snails love hosta, but they detest crossing sharp surfaces because it causes them injury. Prevent them from climbing up hosta plants by sprinkling eggshells or diatomaeous earth around the base. Round sandpaper disks also work well for this purpose. Cut a slit in used disks and wrap them around stems.

Good Luck!


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June 10, 20060 found this helpful

Put 3 chopped onions, 4 chopped garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper and half a litre of water in a liquidizing blender. Whirl at high speed until thoroughly blended and liquid. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of pure soap in half a litre of water and mix the two liquids together. Store in a tightly sealed glass bottle, label and keep out of the reach of children.

This is particularly effective against scale, thrips, mites and aphids.

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June 10, 20060 found this helpful

This is from

awesome site a recipe for everything!

Bug Spray

This will dislodge or smother aphids, thrips and mites.

2 tablespoons liquid soap (such as Ivory)

1 gallon water

Mix and put into plastic spray jar. Spray onto plants.

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June 12, 20060 found this helpful

I can't remember where I got these but I hope they help!

Print out these five standby remedies for yard and garden, including a natural fungicide for mildew and black spot:

Simple Soap Solution

2 Tbs. soap flakes

2 litre warm water

Dissolve soap flakes in water and apply directly to infested areas every 5-7 days. Note: Too much soap can cause burning on plants.

Pests affected: aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies.

Garlic Oil Spray

10-15 cloves of minced garlic

2 tsp. mineral oil

600 ml water

1 tsp. liquid dish soap

Soak garlic in mineral oil for 24 hours. Strain garlic out and add 600 ml water and 1 tsp. liquid dish soap. Mix thoroughly. Spray plants with this solution.

Pests affected: Aphids, spider ites, and whiteflies

Fungicide for Mildew and Black Spot

1 tsp. baking soda

1 litre water

1 tsp. soap flakes

Dissolve baking soda in 1 litre of warm water.

Add soap flakes to help solution cling to leaves. Remove infected leaves from plant, then spray top and bottom of remaining leaf surfaces to control spread of the disease.

Sticky Traps

1-2 Tbsp. Vaseline or preferably, Unpetroleum Jelly

4x8 plastic cards or cardboard

Waterproof yellow paint

Apply paint onto both sides of the card and let it dry. Once the paint is dry, apply

Unpetroleum Jelly liberally over both sides of the card. Place the card just above the plant canopy.

Pests controlled:Flying pests, such as fungus gnats, and whiteflies.

Sowbug Traps

1 small plastic container with lid

2 Tbsp. cornmeal

Cut a small hole at the base of the container, large enough and close enough to the bottom to allow sowbugs to climb in. Place cornmeal in container. Place container into area infested with sowbugs. After feeding on the cornmeal, the bugs will drink and then explode! (Replace cornmeal frequently.)

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July 11, 2013 Flag

How do you make homemade insecticide? My grandson is trying to earn a gardening badge for Boy Scouts and is having a problem with roly poly bugs eating the tomatoes. He does not want to use a commercial product, but prefers to use something less harmful to the environment. Your help would be greatly appreciated!

By Shari

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July 15, 20130 found this helpful

From: SGGuides

To manage problems with aphids and mites, try a pesticide made with rhubarb leaves. Simply boil rhubarb leaves in water for 20 minutes, and when cool strain into a spray bottle. A mild dishwashing soap can be added as well. (take care with the leaves as they are poisonous when eaten)

For managing leaf-chewing pests, mix up mashed chili peppers, chopped onion and a head of minced garlic. Allow to steep in water for 24 hours before straining and spraying tomato plants.

To curb attacks from tomato hornworms and other leaf cutters, make a mash of marigold leaves and flowers, and soak in water for 24 hours. Strain the solids, and add another 1.5 quarts of water plus a pinch of liquid castille soap before spraying.

For problems with beetles, caterpillars, whitefly and any soft-bodied insect pest, use a mix of water, cayenne peppers and chopped horseradish root.

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June 17, 2010 Flag

How much borax do you add to a quart squirt bottle of water to use for insecticide? Anybody know? Thanks!

By Kelly from NM

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December 1, 20120 found this helpful

First question would be why use borax to begin with, though considered low toxic it is still a number of times more toxic than anything else you or an exterminator would use for insect control. It is a slow acting stomach poison, so it would take time to get the job done if you are fighting a current insect infestation. The borates can be effective by lightly dusting out of the way places of the home, but mainly as a preventative.

25th year as exterminator

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June 26, 2005 Flag

Does anyone know the recipe for homemade bug repellant for tomatoes? I once saw a recipe with dish soap and water but i don't remember the amount to use.

Thanks in advance,

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July 5, 20050 found this helpful

The recipe is 1 cup of each. Dishwashing liquid, ammonia, listerine, and epsons salts. I hope this helps! It works wonders for me.

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July 16, 20070 found this helpful

Is the recipe safe for cherry tomatoes and safe to humans or do I have to wash before eat.

Editor's Note: I would always wash before eating but the spray should be safe compared to insecticides.

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June 15, 2009 Flag

I am looking for insecticide recipes.

Hardiness Zone: 5b

By doc8888webb from Independence, MO

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

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May 15, 2008 Flag

Mix a capful of ammonia in a gallon of water then put into a spray bottle. This will kill the bugs on your rose bushes and make the roses bloom more healthily.

By Kelly from Bend, OR


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