Eat What We Grow
Homemade Pesticides

Have you been seeing holes in the leaves of your plants in the backyard? Well, I do believe that you have some unwelcome company who are competing to eat your fresh produce. Common pests include moths, caterpillars, flies, beetles, grasshoppers and slugs. One insect I recommend you keep in your garden, however, is the lady bug which feeds on invading insects.

Care must be taken in quickly eradicating the population of these pests. They not only do damage the foliage, but they may introduce plant diseases. Here are some relatively inexpensive and environmentally friendly pesticides to use in your garden.

Insecticidal Soap Spray

Soap is an effective all-purpose pesticide. Furthermore it is less detrimental to the environment than commercial pesticides.  It can be used on vegetables up to harvest.

Soap spray is effective due to the sodium/potassium salts and fatty acids content which dehydrate the pests. However, too much soap may dry the plants as well. Make sure to use liquid soap and not detergents, which are more acidic and harmful to the vegetation. Also avoid spraying the garden during hot, sunny periods of the day.

Combine 1-2 tablespoons liquid soap and 1 quart water in a bucket. Mix, then transfer to a spray bottle as needed.

Insecticide Soap Spray

Vegetable Soup Spray

Strong, offensive smells are good at repelling insects. The unpalatable taste created by the soup causes the pests to starve or move on to other feeding grounds. Unfortunately, the soup can only be stored for two weeks in the refrigerator. Treat every 4 or 5 days to kill off the pests and prevent newly-hatched babies from feeding.

How to Make

  1. Combine 2 small onions, a scotch bonnet pepper and a clove of garlic to a gallon of water.
  2. Add cut vegetable or peels to the pot.
  3. Strain the liquid into a container. Preferably, use a cloth to remove all sediments which may block the spray nozzle.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of dish soap to the liquid.

Dead bug Spray

Self-rising Flour

To protect your vegetable patch from cabbage worms, dust cabbage with self-rising flour in the morning.  The worms will eat the flour, and it will expand and kill them as the day warms up.

If you don’t have or wish to purchase self-rising flour for pesticide purpose, just add 1 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a cup of all-purpose flour. Mix well.

Salt Spray

Salt has been used for centuries to cure food. Why not apply the drying potential of salt to killing pests?  The salt-water solution is used for cabbageworms and spider mites.

Just mix 2 tablespoons of salt to 1 gallon of water.

Slugs Spray

Mixing 1 part ammonia and 1 part water will kill the slugs damaging your vegetables. Additionally, the ammonia will turn to nitrogen and feed the plants. You couldn’t have asked for a better combination!

Salt Spray

Dead Bug Spray

Have you ever heard the saying “Cock mouth kill cock”? Well, let’s turn it around and let dead bugs kill bugs. Simply collect dead bugs, crush them up and mix with water. Strain the mix so that it will flow out of a spray bottle.

Plant Repellents

Some flowers and vegetables contain chemical properties that naturally repel insects. By simply planting these among you garden crop will help to keep unwanted insects away. Try these along the hedge of the beds or make them staple plants in the garden.

Mint  Slug Spray

Garlic  MINT

Turnip Marigold

Onion  Oleander


Geranium Onion

Marigold  sweet-potato-vine

Oleander Garlic

Petunia  turnip

Radish  Petunia