Natural Homemade Pesticides: Recipes & Tips

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These homemade pesticides are cheap and easy to make with many being just as effective as some commercial products on the market. No fancy ingredients required, everything you need is likely stocked in your kitchen and garden. Most of the ingredients are earth friendly and natural with the harshest being liquid dish detergent–no need to use toxic chemicals!

Tip: The best method of pest control in the garden is to keep your plants healthy so they don’t attract bugs. Fertilize as needed (see How To Make Compost Tea) and stay on top of weeds by pulling them as they appear or using weed killers (see Homemade Weed Killer Recipes & Tips).

Begin treating for insects as soon as you notice signs of an infestation, the sooner you start the easier it will be to get rid of the critters.


Note: For recipes that require liquid dish detergent, use the basic stuff–nothing fancy with added bleach, nothing concentrated and no special antibacterial formulas. You can also substitute with a gentler liquid soap such as liquid castile or a perfume free, gentle liquid hand soap.

Update: As with all pesticides, take care when applying to food bearing plants, handling and storage of the pesticide. No one needs reminding I’m sure, but wash all produce well before consuming.

Rhubarb Leaf Mix

1 cup rhubarb leaves
6.5 cups water
1/4 cup liquid dish detergent or soap flakes

  • Cover rhubarb leaves with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes then remove from heat and cool. Strain then add 1/4 cup liquid dish detergent. Apply. Good for aphids, june beetles, spider mites, thrips.
  • Rhubarb leaves are poisonous, take care when preparing and handling. Do not use on food bearing plants.

Garlic Tea

  • Make your own garlic spray by boiling a pint of water, throw in roughly chopped garlic cloves and steep until the water cools. Remove garlic bits then apply.

Garlic, Peppers & Onion Insecticide

2 hot peppers
1 large onion
1 whole bulb of garlic
1/4 cup water

  • Toss in the food processor and add water, blend until a mash is made. Cover mash with 1 gallon hot (not boiling) water and let stand 24 hours. Strain. Spray on roses, azaleas, vegetables to kill bug infestations. Bury mash in ground where bugs are heaviest. Good for thrips, aphids, grasshoppers, chewing and sucking insects.

Tomato Leaves Mix

  • Crush leaves from a tomato plant and soak in water for a couple days. Strain then spray. Good for grasshopper and white fly control.
  • Tomato leaves are poisonous, take care when preparing and handling. Do not use on food bearing plants.

Basil Tea

4 cups water
1 cup fresh basil (or 2 TBS dried)
1 tsp liquid dish detergent

  • Bring water to a boil then add basil. Remove from heat, cover and steep until cool. Strain. Mix in the liquid detergent then apply. Good for aphids.

Onion Insect Repellent For Plants
*First published May 18, 2007 and moved to this page for better organization


Save Onion Peels & Bits To Make Your Own Garden Brew

  • Save onion skins, peels and ends then refrigerate in an empty margarine-sized tub or ziploc bag until the container is full.
  • Once you have enough, place the onion pieces in a pail and fill with warm water. Soak for a few days, up to a week. Optional: You can keep this on the patio in the sun to steep.
  • After one week, strain the onion bits out and store the onion water in spray bottles. Bury the onion bits around plants that are prone to aphids, spiders and other pests.
  • Spray both house and garden plants with the water to fight aphids and pests.

*You could also mix your garlic trimmings in with the onion pieces, bugs hate garlic too.

Salt Spray

2 TBS salt
1.5 gallons warm water

  • Mix salt and water to dissolve, allow to cool to room temperature. Use for spider mites, caterpillars, cabbage worms and chewing insects.

Epsom Salt Spray

2 ounces of salt
2 gallons water

  • Benefits: Helps with Black Spot, Mildew, Wilt and Rust

Slug Bait Trap

  • Set out beer in shallow containers to attract slugs, they’ll drown in the beer. See more tips on this page.

Diatomaceous Earth

  • An all natural solution for insects of all kinds (ants, snails, slugs, etc.). Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on top of soil around plants with pest problems.

Horticultural Oil Mix

1 TBS vegetable oil
1 tsp liquid dish detergent
2 cups water

  • Fill a spray bottle with the ingredients then shake to mix.

Hot Pepper Recipe

1/2 cup hot peppers (or 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper)
1 quart water
1 tsp liquid dish detergent

  • Bring water to a boil, remove from heat and add peppers. Cover and steep until cool. Strain then mix in soap. If using cayenne pepper, no need to bring water to a boil first. Apply.

Citrus Spray

2 cups orange peels (or lemons)
4 cups water

  • Bring water to a boil, remove from heat and add peels. Cover and steep until cool. Strain and use. Use the lemon mixture to repel white flies.

Dish Detergent & Baking Soda

2 TBS liquid dish detergent
2 TBS baking soda
1 gallon water

  • Mix all ingredients together then use.

Peppermint Tea

1 TBS peppermint essential oil (can also use an infusion made with mint leaves, increase amount to 1 cup infusion)
1 quart water

  • Mix together and use as an insect spray (good for ants).

Japanese Beetle Bait Trap

2 cups water
1 mashed banana
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup wine
1/2 tsp yeast

  • Mix ingredients together and put in an old margarine container, cover with lid and set container out in the hot sun for a day. The next day, remove lid and set in garden where the beetles have been spotted (use a shallow container).

Potato Leaves Tea

1 cup potato plant leaves
2 cups water

  • Chop leaves then cover with hot water. Seal container and leave 24 hours in a sunny window. Strain then use.
  • Potato leaves are poisonous, take care when preparing and handling. Do not use on food bearing plants.

Neem Spray

1 TBS Neem soap (shavings)
1 liter water

  • Add soap to water then let sit for an hour. Shake bottle then use.

Mineral Oil Mix

3 parts oil per 100 parts water

  • Benefits: Helps with Aphids, Codling Moth, Leaf Roller, Mealybugs, Scaled Insects, White Fly

Easy Soap Flakes Spray

2 TBS soap flakes (don’t use detergents)
dissolved in 1 quart water

  • Benefits: Aphid control

Pest Prevention Concentrate
*First published February 1, 2008 and moved to this page for better organization

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable Oil Can Be An Effective Ingredient For Organic Pest Control

Here’s a short and sweet recipe for both garden and houseplants. You can use this as a preventative spray as well as a bug and pest killer.


1 cup Sunlight dish soap
1 TBS vegetable oil


  • Mix ingredients together then store in a plastic, airtight container.
  • When you’re ready to use, take 1 to 2 teaspoons of the concentrate and mix with a quart of water. Pour into a spray bottle.
  • When applying make sure to get underneath the leaves as well as the flower buds and new shoots.
  • In hot weather, repeat every third day (3 applications over 7 days).
  • Warm to cool weather, use once a week for 3 weeks.


  • Apply the treatment on top of the leaves as well as underneath–don’t overdo it, excess can cause damage.
  • Most recipes can be used effectively with just a weekly treatment. Excessive use may affect the plant as well as kill the good insects you want to encourage in your garden (earthworms, bees, ladybugs, etc.). If you aren’t seeing results with a 7 day treatment, you can bump it up to 5 days but watch carefully to make sure plants can handle it without being damaged.
  • Avoid treating during hot sunny weather, do so later in the day to reduce the risk of burning.
  • If it looks like rain, delay until the weather is clear since any rain will wash away the new application. If it has recently rained, wait till greenery is dry before applying to prevent the mix being diluted with water.
  • When trying a new recipe, test on just a couple leaves first (apply then watch how the test leaves react after two or three days, if no signs of damage proceed with spraying the whole plant).

Organic Garden Aids

*First published June 5, 2007 and moved to this page for better organization

With a little bit of planning you can help cut down on pests and disease organically by growing natural repellents near problem areas. Here are a few suggestions…

Rosemary, Mint, Thyme: Grow near cabbage
Benefits: Repels cabbage worms

Nasturtiums: Position near cucumbers, melons and squashes.
Benefits: Repels squash bugs

Summer Savory: Position near beans
Benefits: Repels bean beetles

Radishes: Grow near cucumbers
Benefits: Repels cucumber beetles

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Published: June 30, 2009
Updated: December 29, 2011

What Readers Are Saying:
111 Comments to “Natural Homemade Pesticides: Recipes & Tips”
  1. Bill says:

    Um… those “bugs” in the picture are arachnids. They look a lot like ticks which of course are much more of a nuisance to us than to plants.

  2. Bill in Detroit says:

    Think carefully before applying any of these. While most are repellents, others are poisons and non-selective, at that. The rhubarb leaf spray is poisonous and the salt spray adds salt to your garden soil — seldom a good idea.

    Overall, a good list: but, before rushing to spray, give the predators a chance to ‘do their thang’.

    • TipNut says:

      Thanks for the info Bill, I added notes to the Rhubarb, Tomato & Potato leaves sprays as well as an update at the top to mind prep and handling.

  3. k says:

    Erm, “liquid dish detergent” is probably more harsh (on you and the plant) than some of the naturally derived chemicals “commercially available.”

    Remember, just because a company is selling you a product doesn’t mean that their product is inherently inferior, evil, or scary. And on a barely related note, organic companies are big companies too, you know.

    • TipNut says:

      Hi k, I don’t have a problem with big companies or commercial products, these are just a collection of homemade options.

    • RP says:

      ummm not I have been using homemade remidies for many years including the dish detergant and i am bug free and have a bountiful harvest every year 🙂 Not to mention money wise you save alot, buy not having to buy commercially. if done right it’s the only way to grow…

  4. CAROLYN says:


  5. Smiley says:

    One of my family members recommended Companion Gardening instead of using any kind of natural pesticides.
    However, I’m looking for a natural spider killer residue that is harmless to pets, humans, and fish.
    Please, if you have one let me know.

    • Lee Sartain says:

      I didn’t like spiders in my mail box, so I went to the internet. Somebody volunteered this suggestion, and it works!

      I mixed Ajax for Dishes with hot water as if to wash dishes, in a gallon container and poured it into my mailbox, and no more spiders for at least a year. Then saw 4 or 5 wolf spiders(big and hairy) coming toward the garage, so mixed more and poured a line barier. No more spiders in the garage for a loong time. Since, maybe once a year in the mailbox.

      I think they know soap can dissolve their oily covering that protects then from insecticides, so they avoid it.

      • holly says:

        thanks for the tip,i am deathly afraid of spiders but i also want to find a better way for them to leave without the horrible chemicals in the soil!

        • kpcswd says:

          daddy longlegs spiders are good for the tomatos, as they eat aphids. dragonflies eat many bad bugs, although they also will eat lady bubs. the horticultural oil mix listed above in a shallow dish, may kill the good bugs, as well as the bad.

      • kpcswd says:

        daddy longlegs spiders are good for the tomatos, as they eat aphids. dragonflies eat many bad bugs, although they also will eat lady bubs.

  6. tess says:

    HELP….our yard has been invaded by moles and their tunnels…. we have tried everything to get rid of them, to no avail…. has anyone conquered the mole???

    • scott says:

      Try dog sitting someones rat or fox terrier for awhile. They will dig a small hole to get at the mole but they will get it.

      • shalom says:

        Be careful with a dog. My parents Lab got too close to some deer (which are semi-tame because they are near people a lot) and one of them butted her. She wasn’t seriously hurt, but she was sore a few days. She wasn’t even trying to threaten them when she got too close.

      • kansaskatkrazy says:

        Spearmint gets rid of moles quick! Just stuff some in each tunnel you find. Last time I didn’t have any real spearmint, so I used spearmint gum, and it worked too! Each time I’ve tried this, moles have disappeared overnight and not come back for years at a time!

    • Tina says:

      Tess, I had a bad problem with voles in my garden last year, they make tunnels too. I found that the battery operated mole chasers work great. they were a little expensive, but they work great, I haven’t changed the batteries in them yet, so they last a long time. They just vibrate and buzz every 60 seconds and chase all those little critters away.

    • Carla says:

      Try putting a whole hot pepper of any kind down each hole. It helped us to rid our yard of the countless mounds and holes.

    • Jackie says:

      juicy fruit chewing gum in the holes also helps to get rid of them

      • william says:

        i dont agree with the chewing gum….they suffer for days and then stink when they die in “weird spots” like gutter spouts,…i found the number one way to rid them is gravel….i have put a gravel barrier mixed with kitty litter, one foot deep, 2 years ago and i havent had a single problem since..THEY HATE IT.were totaly out controle with my super sandy lome soil mix,ALSO…they hate digging though mint roots.

        • jacki says:

          Your kitty litter did the trick! i know this works for burrowing yard pests-i had heard it is even faster if it is SOILED litter. The pests think the cats are lurking out there ready to get ’em!

        • Kristi says:

          I was going to say the same thing…I live on a large gravel deposit, with a sandy loan soil base for my garden, and lets just say our gophers don’t care about gravel….they dig right through it….they do however not like the cats. I would say get a cat, but not all of our will hunt the gophers, they do however deter them a bit. I do find that they don’t like when I augment our soil with manure. They move out of the garden for a while. Ammonia in the tunnels helps too, but then you could just as well use soiled kitty litter will do the same trick.

    • anna faye says:

      I have gotten those things that kids play with the twirly fan like thing they have them at the dollar tree you know there on a stick with pretty colors and go around like a fan anyway the vibrating in the ground makes them think someone is walking up there great

    • Jenn says:

      We’ve tried juicy fruit gum, on the advice of a neighbour and it gets rid of them. They don’t like the smell of the gum. (Just chew the gum and place it in the obvious holes or around the tunnels and they will find another spot to go to. Good Luck!

  7. Gwynne says:

    Any good pesticides for black widows & scorpians? I live in the Mohave desert and these a big problems. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  8. Dennis Fenter says:

    Please clarify. Your Rhubarb leaf pesticide gives a quantity of one teaspoonful of washing up liquid in the ingredients, but says mix in 1/4 cup in the instructions.????????

  9. madz says:

    How do get rid of thrips and leaf miners? They are flying insects thus difficult to get rid of with insecticidal soap spray. Any recommendations? Thanks.

  10. Bob Giga says:

    Friend in Fla. told me of this one. Spread hominy around foundation. Termite deterant. They eat the grits and the explode when the return to nest and drink water. Sprinkle from foundation to 4″ out.

  11. Jan says:

    Hopefully the snow will melt and I can plant. I have slugs and I need to find out how to get rid of them, oh yuck those grose ugly things.

    • mlk says:

      Coffee grounds keep slugs away.

    • charlena says:

      the best way and easiest is to use crushed egg shells it is rough on their under side so they avoid them SAVED MY STRAWBERRIES FROM an onslaught of thousand of slugs .beer works also but then you have dead slugs to dispose of.

  12. Bryan says:

    Do you have any tips for discouraging rabbits & ground squirrels from eating lettuce and other greens?

    • Alex says:

      MAybe a dog can help.

      • Priscilla says:

        When you get your hair cut next, ask them to bag your hair (bring one with you). Sprinkle in your garden. It gives the scent of a human near by.

        • Lea says:

          the hair trick doesn’t really work. I have tried it. The ground squirrels I have are used to us. I can’t put out anything harmful because they do sometimes go into the back yard and my dogs get them. I can’t grow much of anything on my place. If I plant in the back yard the dogs tear it up. If I plant in the front the squirrels eat it. I have tried the pallet planter for salad mixes and the squirrels just finished them up before they grew to much. I don’t want to buy gum because it would cost way to much. Is there any plant the squirrels don’t like or want to come near? It has to be safe to have around kids and livestock.
          If anyone has any idea on how to get rid of these pest please help

          • Kristi says:

            I have similar issues…. There is nothing these little critters won’t eat! I finally invested in 1 inch chicken wire to put under everything in my raised beds…it works…can get the smaller stuff becuase some smaller gophers and ground squirells will still make it through, but I have never had an issue. As I said I have raised beds, and the only real thing I have a problem with is voles, and the cats will take care of them if given the chance. We have deer issues to so I finally took sheep neting and built a fence around the garden keeps out the dog too, course I kept kicking him out so he knows better than to be there. There is always a product called liquid fence that I have had good luck with in the past, but you have to keep spraying the plants after it rains and such or they will still eat them mainly keeps rabbits and deer off. I have never had the gophers or squirells climb the raised beds, as they are about 10 inches tall, but in a pinch if it became a problem I would cover them with either a hoop shaped or “A” frame style chicken wire barrier which could serve a dual purpose as a cold frame if covered with clear plastic in the early spring, then take the plastic off for the summer, leaving the chicken netting in place for protection from varments. Now I know you are looking for cheap, but I have never had to replace my chicken netting in the 10 years I have been at our new house, best part is if the chicken neting does get bad, will still work as pea fence.

    • judy says:

      rabbits and squirrels dont eat lettuce it harms their diguestive system it has to be something else maybe deer

  13. Bridget says:

    So which is the best to spray on fruit trees to keep bugs out of the fruit?

  14. Lynn says:

    I would like to know what to use to kill sand fleas or microscopic “mites”.I can’t see a thing but they are really biting my cat and I and seemingly are not going to let up much -to my horror!I have moved the plants I had in my apartment in case they came in with them -in the soil?? But they seem to have infested the carpet and the tiled floors even.It seems to be getting worse by the day…Please help me to get rid of the varmints and what about my poor tormented cat?How to treat him?Will just the carpet be enough?I hope so.Thank you,Lynn.

    • Lee Sartain says:

      People in Texas sprinkle sulphur powder in the yard to get rid of chiggers, which itch like sand fleas in Georgia. They may be in the same family so it may work for them also.

    • Donna says:

      Lynn, you are worried about sand fleas on the cat and in the house but you need to worry about yourself and other humans in the house. When I lived in California I got sand fleas myself. Never experienced anything so horrible. The itching is mind blowing. Dr visits, thick oatmeal bath soaks, covered in prescription lotion. Couldn’t sleep or stand clothes on. It took weeks to get rid of them. You could see them under the skin moving sometimes. Be careful, you might want to have an exterminator come in.

      • Jayne says:

        Spread borax over carpets and floors wait 12-24 hours and vacuum up no more sand fleas, but remove people and pets from the house till your done as it can cause respitory problems, wear a mask while vacuuming, and remove vacuum bag after treatment.

  15. Carla says:

    For moles, voles, and gophers you can throw a whole hot pepper in the holes and for some reason they move out. We had over 100 holes in our yard. I think they told their buddies. If you don’t have a dog, throw a hot pepper in the holes. I had a gack up plan if it didn’t work, but I did not use it. It was peppermint oil on a cotton ball down the hole.
    I also started garlic powdering my plants each year and it took care of the squirrel problem.

  16. hema says:

    please give some natural remedies for eradicating bedbugs.


  17. Sara says:

    A type of bed mite we have is called “acara.” It causes “acariasis” when it gets into the blood and its victims have intense bouts of itching all over. We are looking for a natural insecticide or other method of getting rid of acaras, but can’t find anything specific on the Internet. Any tips?

  18. Jean says:

    Here are some things I have learned from reading old “Organic Gardening” magazines. Sprinkle blood meal on the soil around your plants, or the border of your garden to repel rabbits. It will also add nitrogen to your soil.

    For voracious bugs that eat your plants, make a spray using the offending critter itself. For instance, when caterpillars were eating my pine tree needles, and the horned tomato worm was scarfing down my tomato plant leaves I picked off three or four of the worms and blended them in my blender with water, soap or detergent, garlic cloves and cayenne pepper. After straining through some cheesecloth or a coffee filter, I then sprayed the mixture back on the plants. Until it rained, there were no more of the plant-eating monsters on my plants. Keep the spray around to re-apply after rainfalls.

    If you can stand to just watch and wait, there may soon be little white ovoid shapes sticking out of the back of the tomato horn worm. These are the pupae cocoons for some kind of wasp that eats said tomato horn worms.

    Another option is just to pick off the plant eaters, and squish them under your shoe with a twisting motion. I use a leaf to wrap the horn worm, or wear gloves so as not to touch it, (shudder).

  19. LaTricia says:

    Hi folks! I am a newbie here and I love this website! You have done an awesome job! I do have a question, does anyone have any home remedies for getting rid of roaches? We can not get rid of these things. We had a neighbor move out in the middle of summer and left all kind of food, thats when it started. We have bombed and sprayed, sucked up what we could with a shop vac full of bleach, and still have them. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to get rid of them is to blow up the house. Please, I need some help! Thanks all!

    • Erin says:

      Boric acid does the trick. We flipped a house that was infested beyond belief. The boric acid is cheap and does the trick!

      • Pauline says:

        I have a homemade concoction that is guaranteed. Take cornmeal and water and make a batter. Bake like you would your regular cornbread. When it cools, place in a bowl and break up. To these crumbs, add boric acid to suit. Don’t over do the boric acid! You want this to lure the roaches, so crumb mixture must have an odor. Now, someone help me kill grasshoppers.

  20. phillips says:

    Don’t know how natural this remedy is, but its better than the sprays. Put boric acid along all baseboards through the whole house. Boric acid is a white powder that sometimes comes in little pellets. Get behind and under fridge, in cabinets and pull out drawers and put in the drawer wells. Leave for a couple Weeks or a month for extreme cases. After that, just keep in hidden areas like bathroom cabinets, and behind stove and fridge and drawer wells. Best remedy that I’ve got!

  21. Lynne says:

    LaTricia- Mix diatomaceous earth with the borax. Sprinkle along areas affected.

  22. Catherine says:

    Does anyone out there have a remedy to rid youselves of deer? (we call them huge, hoofed rats!) They have eaten my sugar pod peas, pruned my fruit orchard, eaten most of the new growth on my grapes and desimnated my raspberries … and we won’t even talk about tulips and columbine! I know the trick with Dial but I really don’t want bars of soap hanging from my perennials, etc. since the grapes and many others are right in my yard. Yes, the dear are that brazen. Any other ideas would be GREATLY appreciated! And yes, I know, deer fencing would be best and we actually do have it to install but the cost of posts and hubby’s schedule are slowing us way down. Appreciate any KNOWN results you may have to share with us!

    • Alex says:

      Do you have a dog?? Maybe it can help.

    • Dottie says:

      We finally had put up a motion light that we also rigged up to have a radio come on as well. The radio is sitting inside of a bucket w lid (cat litter bucket) works great no more problems! Depending on how big the area you may have to post up several to cover a large area.

    • Mona says:

      There is at garden centers a product called Melorginite, it comes in large bags. I have deer and have used this for years. Sprinkle it around your plants and yard. It needs to be reapplied after it rains.

    • scott says:

      human hair next time your at the barber ask them if u can have a bag

    • Sam says:

      The best solution I have found is buy some coyote urine at a garden center (somewhat expensive, but worth it!) Place cotton balls soaked with the solution around your garden. It worked like magic for me, the deer won’t come near, because they have terrific sense of smell, and assume a predator is near!

    • Helen says:

      Tie Irish Spring soap to the plant or on a stick close to the plants. The smell deters the deer and any soap that melts during a rain will not hurt the garden. Small cloth bags of moth balls work well too.

    • judy says:

      i hang a old cd by string silver side out sun or moon shines on it and scares them away

  23. jason says:

    Im growing greenbeans and im already having a problem with leaves being eatin. Looking for good home remedy quick. Plz help.

  24. katherine says:

    I have 5 baby tomatoe plants and they already have signs of leaf miner bugs. I have removed the infested leaves and thrown them in the trash. I have heard that I can take Dawn detergent (the kind used to help oil spilll animals, and to kill fleas when washing my dog) and delute it and spray beneath the leaves lightly. Is there a parts per water formula, and do I need to add anything else? Please help. I lost my tomatoes last year because I didn’t want to use the $8 per bottle spray from the hardware store for only 2 plants. My tomatoes are in large pots, with quality, store bought vege soil.. Thanks!

    • Jen says:

      It really doesn’t take much Dawn at all. Fill up the spray bottle with water almost to the top (leave enough room to shake to mix) and then give a squirt of Dawn, put the lid on an shake. If you put the Dawn in first the bottle will fill with bubbles as you fill it and spill out. You must apply after each rain. You can also add a Tbsp of vegetable oil so it clings to the plants better. Spray top and bottom of leaves.

      Even 2 tomato plants are worth saving when you consider the amount of tomatoes you get from them and the time, energy you put into planting, watering, fertilizing, harvesting, etc. Your time is worth money too!

  25. cindy says:

    I have been looking at organic pesticide formulas for my tomato plants. They are all basically the same except the one on this site says not to use it on food bearing plants. Can I not use the tomato leaf formula on my tomato plants?

  26. jacki says:

    …have a GOOD “recipe” for COCKROACHES! Our house became INFESTED when a really disgusting neighbor lived next door. (we live in a duplex and shared a YARD with this IDIOT) i have cats, so we were concerned on what to use. Mix one part boraic acid powder (we got it at the Walmart Pharmacy) and one part cornstarch. Mix this well and spread under your sinks, inside cabinets, behind your big appliances. Worked RIGHT AWAY-i was scared to go in my kitchen it was so bad! And my cats stayed away from it. To get rid of “weevils” that infect food-like dry food, put a bay leaf on each cupboard shelf, also where ever you store bedding for the summer months they get into your bedding and clothes. i have used this in desert Nevada and my Mom has used this in wet Oregon and it has iliminated the problem in both environments-and of course its safe!

  27. Dottie says:

    I had sowed some flower seeds and they were coming up just fine, about an half inch in size. The next day they were all gone? Would this have been rabbits and what to do?

    • ray says:

      depends on where you live. We have an earwig problem here (in colorado) that matches your prescription perfectly. They come out at night and will eat a half-grown vine plant, marigold, or bean bush down to the vine or stem overnight. or 100 tiny carrot greens. I’ve caught them in the act, it’s like a pack of wolves. Am looking for a recipe for a spray to soak the mulched beds where they live, ideally to deter them from getting to the goodies. They eat diatomaceous earth like it was salt on their food.

  28. Dottie says:

    Living in Maryland last year was our first to deal with STINK BUGS! Now we have them again, I believe they are hatching out from our breezeway ceilings and walls. This is screen in and the only way to get rid of what I can catch….YUK….is to put them in a bucket of soapy water (they drown). I am looking for other ways to rid of the ones I can not see but know they are there. Makes this area stink big time!

  29. betty says:

    just wondering what kind of yeast to use in the japanese beetle bait trap.
    thanks. love this site and all of your great info.

  30. Godfrey says:

    Having trouble with lawn grubs, what is the best way to rid myself of these pests
    Is there something natural that works., also dogs urinating etc on my lawn.
    Need to solve these ASAP. Thanks in Advance

    • Jen says:

      Milky spore works best. You may need to treat three years in a row, but then it should last between 10-20 years! It’s safe for pets too. I called our exterminator and they wanted to spray something that only worked for the season and cost more than the milky spore! Why would I want to do pay extra for a temporary fix? I still need to do mine, but that’s what I plan to use. I found about 50 grubs in my 4’x8′ frame for my garden when I was turning over the soil. I definitely need to get working on that.

  31. Debbra W says:

    I didn’t see on your tips a recipe for tobacco (nicotine)pesticide. I used to buy a tin of chewing, non-flavored, tobacco. I shredded it in my small food processor and then put in in a cheesecloth pouch I made from cheesecloth and a garbage bag tie. I filled a bucket with water and put the tobacco pouch in and let it sit outside (away from pets and kids) for a few days. When the tobacco tea was dark I pulled out the pouch and poured the tobacco tea into a sprayer. Spray everything you need to spray and then put what is left of the tea away someplace safe from pets and people.

  32. Pauline says:

    I need to know how to kill grasshoppers. Anyone have a clue?

  33. Glenda H says:

    anyone know how to get rid of potato bugs?

    • Tipnut says:

      Hi Glenda, you’ll find recommendations on this page.

    • john grrigsby says:

      Glenda, I have read that planting onions maybe a foot or so from your potatoes will help. Also, horse-radish can help. I have seen it advertised in some seed catalogs.

    • GPeterson says:

      I read somewhere that growing flax close to potatoes will deter potato bugs. I had flax in a mix of flowers growing around my garden last year and didn’t see a single potato bug!

  34. Glenda H says:


  35. Vicki says:

    Hello just wondering if anyone knows of a good solution to get rid of house spiders? I live in the UK and we get them in September and they are about the size of your palm – we really hate them!!

    • dawn says:

      Spray or lightly wipe walls or areas spiders are seen with a citronella essential oil and carrier oil as spiders hate citronella.

    • GLORIA says:

      Peppermint oil undiluted on a cotton ball, or mixed with small amount of water for spraying surfaces.

  36. Elizabeth G. says:

    I know that I have a fungus on the plants in my vegetable garden but I think I may have a problem with some insects too, though I don’t know which ones. I’m thinking of combining your viegar fungicide recipe with the horticultual oil mix. Will one negate the effects of the other or can these be used together at the same time? Thank you.

  37. carolyn k says:

    Can anyone tell me how to get rid of sand fleas in my home and outside, I keep my pets bathed and the fleas seem to bite only me, I think there fleas I haven’t been able to see them but they are shinny specks.

  38. melinda says:

    These are normal fleas,they like laying their eggs in sand and dry areas.They feed on blood and arn’t fussy about their hosts,bathing your pets repells them so they go to you for a feed.They are little black shiny specks that jump,so you don’t often see them Use a flea treatment on your pets that sterilize the flea eggs,bathing may kill and repell adult fleas however won’t affect the eggs,and they will hatch on a regular basis reinfesting the areas.I don’t think these treatments are organic,however can be administered orally to your pet and won’t affect the enviroment or you with harsh chemical smelling sprays,but will break their cycle.Speak to your veterinarian about what is available.Also saturating sand with water on a regular basis will help.However if the sand is close to your house they may relocate inside.

  39. Annette says:

    we have had 4 months of beautiful tomatoes now suddenly there are yellow areas on the tomatos as they ripen and most are filled with worms and are spotty and not going red. What should I use ? How often ? Am loath to pull out the bushes as they are still bearing. We have basil planted amongst the bushes and the tomato leaves are dying off too. It is coming into summer now.

    • Jen says:

      Not an expert here, but maybe you need more fertilizer? Nitrogen if they are turning yellow? I would pull off the bad parts and try to save them. First using a good fertilizer with nitrogen. Burpee has a seaweed based fertilizer that is supposed to do wonders. I bought it this year, but haven’t been able to plant yet due to cold, rainy weather. It’s supposed to make plants stronger and healthier.

  40. Kristina says:

    Something is killing my Mums!!! I have found maybe 2 different kinds of ‘worms’ in my mums and when I lifted up the pot a bunch of black beetles ran away. The forms were green and about an inch long. A couple of them were skinny but a few were pretty fat. I have picked them all off and chased the beetles away, but what can I do to prevent them from coming back?
    Would the oil spray work even if all I have on hand is Olive oil?

  41. John Gebhart says:

    We have “wooly adelgis” on our hemlock trees and it is killing them all over our neighborhood. What can be used for control and can it be applied with a high pressure sprayer? The trees are too tall to get coverage otherwise.

  42. Cheryl says:

    What would you recommend for an infestation of fungus gnats in my houseplants?

    • travis says:

      I would highly reccomend citric acids for fungus gnats, its simple just squeeze preferabley lemons or oranges into a bowl, zesting if desired, and lightly mix in some baking powder. Wait for the two to dry together and then shake on plants

  43. winifred scott says:

    House lizards maybe a tropical thing but it is rather annoying.They nestle in your ceilings and roofs and their droppings can be found anywhere, on your bed, kitchen counter, bath vanities.HELP I have tried everything to rid of this pest.

  44. Melonie says:

    I am planting a small garden this year. Last year I planted squash, tomatoes, and cucumbers… my cucumbers and squash did amazing but my tomatoes grew very weird and kept getting holes from bugs and none were etible. Which spray would work best for this as I am giving the tomatoes another go. I am also planting sweet peppers this year. Any advice would be a big help. Thanks

  45. m9man says:

    use soft soap/ green soap!! it’s best for your plants. (basic highschool experiment)

  46. Dana says:

    I’m having a problem with spiders and want to prevent bark scorpions this summer. What remedy will help keep them from coming into the house and in my yard? I have a child and would hate for her to get stung as well as myself.

  47. Tera says:

    I tried the salt in water and sprayed it on my sage and it fried it! The plant is half dead now 🙁

  48. Kris says:

    i need to know how to get rid of cats.
    they pee in my garden and the smell is awful.i dont want to grow anything edable there cause i cant eat what the cat has peed on

  49. Dotty Anne says:

    This is my third year gardening in high desert (harsh sun, pummeling winds, alkaline soil, blow sand low in nutrients, poor drainage) conditions of northwestern Arizona. Local advantages: mountains of sheep and horse manure, free to anyone who wants to haul it to garden plot; looong growing season; frequent katsina dances to bring rain. Biggest challenge: Squash bugs eventually devastate cucurbits. I’ve heard that dillweed repels squash bugs, so I’m trying companion planting, but am not counting on it. Anyone know of a homemade organic spray that will work? Tried dish soap, and it helped for about a day, but bugs came back tenfold! Broke down and tried Bayer pestidide spray, which held squash bugs off for a week at most. Guiltily sprinkled Sevin, but it seemed only to annoy bugs. Commercial pesticides gave me rashes, which took all the fun out of gardening. Squashing the squash bugs worked, but smelled awful, and took a lot of time (an hour a day per plant!). My squash plants are about 2-feet high now, and looking great. Squash bugs are on their way, so I’m looking for killer recipes.

  50. Akilah says:

    I have 2 money plant bought at a Farmers Market 2weeks ago. 2 days ago some of rhe leaves became speckled white the next day the speckles became a solid white. I also abserved a very, very tiny insect with white on one end. tried to catch it but lost it. now the leave on second plant is having same problem. I want to save these plants. They are almost 2 feet tall. What can I do to save them? Please help!

  51. Margery says:

    Nasturtiums: work well to keep aphids away. Plant near roses and mums, etc.

  52. Rose Ann says:

    I have a tiny but visible white flying bug on my plant outdoors. In a couple days ithas turned top leaves brown. Any ideas what it is and will the dish soap work? Thanks.

  53. travis says:

    Hi I am looking for an effective pesticide for grasshoppers, my usual defense is surrounding my garden with squash and tomatoes and citronella since the leaves seem to repel them, but this year its like there’s a new breed that isn’t affected and my garden is being devastated, if anyone knows of a homemade recipe that won’t hurt fruit bearing plants and vegetables please let me know. Thank you

  54. chaar says:

    I have something eating my basil and some of the leaves on my eggplant. I think it might be beatles herre in NH as I have seen some on hanging plants. Is there a natural pesticide to use to get rid of them? I hate to use the store bought ones.

  55. karen says:

    great site
    thanks for all the great tips ive got for this years growing season
    no probs yet but who knows wats to come
    tc karen liverpool england

  56. Lynne says:

    Any suggestions as to how I can get rid of grey leaf mould ( I think that’s what it is ) it seems to be only on my petunias in my hanging baskets. I would rather try cure than take them out but I need to do it fast so as not to infect the other plants the leaves look as if they’ve got mould on them then the leaves start to go yellowing and the plant along with the flowers droop thanks for any suggestions

  57. Lucy says:

    You could buy the coyote urine at a plant store. Can you have a sprinkler system going to discourage the cats . It should keep them away because they will remember getting wet at your house.