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.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
Rhubarb leaves can be used to make an effective organic insecticide (cabbage caterpillars, aphids, peach and cherry slug, etc).
By Kathy from New Zealand
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
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. Pour into spray bottle 50/50 with water. Spray on leaves. Reapply after rain or watering, that washes the spray off the leaves.
By Julesthered from Yakima, WA
By Bill from Florida
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
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 repellant. Use about 6-8 peppers to a quart of water.
If you have any more tips for keeping bugs off plants, feel free to post them.
Try this recipe for getting rid of aphids:
Combine these ingredients into a blender or food processor on high. Strain the pulp from the liquid using cheesecloth, a nylon stocking or a fine-meshed colander. Pour the remaining liquid into a spray bottle and spray it directly on flowers or plants to control aphids. Another easy method is to use a strong spray from a garden hose every few days until the aphids are no longer visible.
I spray infected plants with citric acid solution (1 teaspoon of citric acid dissolved in 0.5 L of water). I sometimes spray this solution on all plants as a protective method even if they're not affected, and repeat as needed, it works. But avoid spraying the plants in the morning, you can do it in the afternoon after the sunset to protect the leaves from getting burnt.
By Araz from Syria
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.
For aphid control on roses, here is what we use:
Put it all in a spray bottle, mix it up (foaminess is good), spray every day 'til the aphids kick the bucket!
Also, I use the high-powered spray from the hose to knock them off if the roses are still in bud stage.
Or, as a last resort, I put on my garden gloves, crush the little buggers with my fingers (yuk!), then top the roses off with the homemade spray.
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. This page contains homemade aphid spray recipes.
Share Your Feedback: Once you try any of the above solutions, be sure to come back and give a "thumbs up" to the one that worked the best for you. Do you have a better solution? Click "Share a Solution" above!
Here are questions related to Homemade Insecticide Recipes.
How much borax do you add to a quart squirt bottle of water to use for insecticide? Anybody know? Thanks!
By Kelly from NM
By LARRY FLUITT12/01/2012
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
I am looking for insecticide recipes.
Hardiness Zone: 5b
By doc8888webb from Independence, MO
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
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:
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.
By Ellen Brown
By Mandy Leigh07/20/2010
Well, I read all of these and made my own, which, I will now use for life. I took just rosemary, not even fresh, just dry rosemary from your cabinet, I ground it up, then, I took equal amounts of mouth wash & water, then, I added 2 cap fulls of baby oil, put all into ingredients a spray bottle, shake it up and the more it sits, the more the aroma of the rosemary is stronger so it works better each time you use it.
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,
By SG (Guest Post)09/10/2008
How does one apply this recipe? Spray it on? How often? Do you mix the epson salts in water before adding one cup of the mixture, or just put a cup of epson salts in with the other liquids?
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!
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.
I have seen posts that suggest using vinegar to get rid of aphids. Isn't vinegar harmful to growing things?
By Eileen M.07/08/2013
Vinegar is a great HERBICIDE (weed killer). For aphids, I suggest a squirt of liquid dish soap in a pint or so of water, spray the leaves, contacting as many aphids as possible. After 20 minutes or so, you may want to rinse off the soapy water so you don't burn the leaves.