Spring is here and it’s time to spend more time outside gardening. Keep your yard pesticide-free by using organic pest control recipes from your pantry.
If you have any of the pests mentioned below, these remedies may help.
If picking them off by hand is tiring, mix one tablespoon of molasses with 4 cups of hot water. Add one teaspoon of dish soap. Put into a spray bottle and spray leaves once a week. The mix works as a repellent.
Spider Mites, Thrips, Aphids
My mom makes a similar concoction, minus the dish soap, to prevent dogs from doing their business on our lawn. It works.
Add these ingredients to a blender:
- 2-3 garlic bulbs (take off the cloves individually unless you have a mega powerful blender)
- 12 small hot chili peppers (or 2 tablespoons of hot chili powder)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon dish soap
- 3 cups of water
Blend well, then add another 3-4 cups of water. Blend again. Strain and pour the liquid into a spray bottle. Up the strength, if you need to, by reducing the amount of water and increasing the amount of garlic and peppers.
White Flies, Mealy Bugs, Scales
These pests die by being smothered in an oily mixture. Whisk 1/2 cup of dish soap with 1 cup of oil (cheap oil) well. Use 1 tablespoon with 4 cups of water in a spray bottle.
Snails and Slugs
Set a beer trap with a shallow container full of beer. They’ll drink it, get drunk and drown. I wrote about this because it works.
I’m currently dealing with these pests right now. If the problem is mild, I was advised to pick off the mined leaves. I’m using the dishsoap and oil spray for white flies and it seems to be working in addition to some fly paper and leafminer traps.
Spray whole milk every few days until the powdery mildew is gone. I read up on this a little bit, and they say that more is not better, so go easy on the milk spray especially in the shade. Pick off mildewy leaves first, if it’s not going to inhibit the plant’s integrity.
Neem Oil as the Best Aid
Neem oil can serve as a repellent to over 200 different types of insects. The plant absorbs the oil and the insects that would otherwise eat the plant basically don’t like the taste. It’s also a fantastic fungicide that I’ve used on powdery mildew and another fungus during the winter. You can learn more about neem oil here.
If you have any other home garden remedies, please share!