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Natural Homemade Pesticides: Recipes & Tips

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 [1]) and stay on top of weeds by pulling them as they appear or using weed killers (see Homemade Weed Killer Recipes & Tips [2]).

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

Garlic Tea

Garlic, Peppers & Onion Insecticide

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

Tomato Leaves Mix

Basil Tea

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

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

*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

Epsom Salt Spray

2 ounces of salt
2 gallons water

Slug Bait Trap

Diatomaceous Earth

Horticultural Oil Mix

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

Hot Pepper Recipe

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

Citrus Spray

2 cups orange peels (or lemons)
4 cups water

Dish Detergent & Baking Soda

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

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

Japanese Beetle Bait Trap

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

Potato Leaves Tea

1 cup potato plant leaves
2 cups water

Neem Spray

1 TBS Neem soap (shavings)
1 liter water

Mineral Oil Mix

3 parts oil per 100 parts water

Easy Soap Flakes Spray

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

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

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



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