No homeowners want to see their lovely plants infected by devastating insects. Insecticides are a good option to deter them, but not everybody wants to use chemical insecticides which are not only bad to the environment but can also be harmful to your skin and eyes. Alternatively, you can do your own Eco-friendly insecticide which is cheap and easy to make.
1. Oil spray insecticide
Ingredient: You can use vegetable oil mixed with mild soap. This destroys troublesome insects, such as aphids, mites, thrips, etc.
Preparation: Mix 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of soap in a bottle and shake well.
Add 2 teaspoons of the mixture with 1 quart of water in a sprayer, shake thoroughly.
Application: Spray on the surfaces of the leaves of your plants.
Result: The oil coats the insects and blocks the pores through which they breathe. The insects finally die out of suffocation.
2. Soap spray insecticide
Preparation: Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of mild liquid soap with 1 quart of water
Application: Spray the mixture on the infected surfaces of the plants. It is recommended to NOT apply it during the sunny part of the day to reduce evaporation).
Result: The liquid soap effectively controls mites, aphids, whiteflies, beetles, and other leaf-eating insects.
3. Neem oil insecticide
Ingredient: Neem oil.
Preparation: Mix 2 teaspoons neem oil with 1 quart of water and 1 teaspoon of mild liquid soap and shake thoroughly.
Application: Spray on the affected plant foliage.
Result: Neem disrupts the life cycle of insects at all stages (adult, larvae, and egg).
Neem oil acts as a hormone disruptor and discourages insects from feeding on leaves and other plant parts. Neem will also combat powdery mildew and other fungal infections on your plants. You can likewise use neem oil as a precaution by spraying the leaves of plants before they are actually infested.
4. Diatomaceous earth
Ingredient: With its somewhat unwieldy name, Diatomaceous earth is made from a sedimentary rock created by fossilized algae (diatoms). This earth is abundant in nature as the earth’s crust is said to be made up of 26% of Diatomaceous. You can find Diatomaceous earth at your local garden store.
Preparation: You don’t need to prepare anything as the earth is sold in bags and is ready to be used.
Application: Simply dust the ground around your plants, or sprinkle it on the leaves. However, you will have to reapply after every rain.
Result: It will help control snails and slugs as well as other crawling insects. It has an abrasive quality and easily absorbs the lipids (a waxy substance) from insects’ exoskeleton, which then dehydrates them to death.
5. Garlic, onion, and cayenne
Ingredient: 1 garlic, 1 small onion, 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder.
Preparation: Make a puree with the above ingredients and let it stay for 1 hour. Strain the mixture and add 1 tsp liquid soap and stir well. You can store it up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Application: Spray generously onto both side of the leaves. Spray again after heavy rain.
Result: The smell of the mixture will keep insects away for a while.
6. Coffee grounds
Ingredient: leftover coffee grounds
Application: Place some coffee grounds in the spots you think pests are coming in.
Result: Critters can’t stand the smell of the coffee grounds and will stay clear.
7. Tomato leaf
Ingredient: Tomato leaf.
Preparation: Chop 2 cups of fresh tomato leaves into 1 quart of water, and let stay overnight.
Application: Spray onto the plant foliage.
Result: The leaves contain alkaloids which can effectively control aphids and other insects
Ingredient: Banana peels
Preparation: Leftover banana peels
Application: Just place a banana peel under the soil near the stems of your plants. Reapply when they are decayed.
Result: This will deter bugs and also nourish the soil.
The above homemade insecticide recipes should be a good starting point for you to start creating your own version. Everyone seems to have their own blend and ratio of ingredients, so by concocting your own solution, you can modify it to best suit your own insect battles.
But be cautious not to kill off all the insects in your garden, as any healthy ecosystem requires an abundance of insects, microbes, and fungi, both in the soil and on the plants themselves. Alternatively, you can consider introducing other predatory insects (ladybugs, praying mantis, etc.) or create a good habitat that would welcome such insects so that they can get your plants rid of harmful and invasive insects and yet a more Eco-friendly approach to effective pest management.
Hope these 8 DIY tips will help you keep your plants happy. For more information and tips, do not forget to share your experience in the comment section below.