21 Natural & Homemade Pesticides That Work: {Recipes}

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

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

DIY Recipes & Brews

Note: For batches that request liquid dish detergent, all that’s required is the basic stuff–nothing fancy with added bleach, nothing concentrated and no special antibacterial formulas. You can also substitute with something gentler such as castile or a perfume free, gentle hand soap.

Rhubarb Solution

1 C. rhubarb leaves*
1/4 C. liquid dish detergent or soap flakes

  • Cover rhubarb leaves with 6.5 cups water and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes then remove from heat and cool. Strain then add 1/4 cup soap. Good for aphids, june beetles, spider mites, thrips.
  • *These are poisonous, take care when preparing and handling. Do not use on food bearing varieties.

Garlic Tea

  • Make your own spritz by boiling a pint of water, throw in roughly chopped garlic cloves and steep until the batch cools. Strain.

Garlic, Peppers & Onion Insecticide

2 hot peppers
1 large onion
1 whole bulb of garlic

  • Toss in the food processor and add 1/4 cup water, blend until a mash is made. Cover mash with 1 gallon hot (not boiling) water and let stand 24 hours. Strain. Spritz 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 Brew

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

Basil Tea

1 C. fresh basil (or 2 TBS dried)
1 tsp liquid dish detergent

  • Bring 4 cups water to a boil then add basil. Remove from heat, cover and steep until cool. Strain. Mix in the soap. Good for aphids.

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

  • 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 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 bits out and store the batch in spray bottles. Bury the onion bits around vegetation that are prone to aphids, spiders and other pests.
  • Spray both house and garden plants to fight aphids and pests.

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

Salt Spritz

2 TBS salt

  • Combine salt with 1.5 gallons water to dissolve, allow to cool to room temperature. Good for spider mites, caterpillars, cabbage worms and chewing critters.

Epsom Salt Formula

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 vegetation with pest problems.

Horticultural Oil Mix

1 TBS vegetable oil
1 tsp liquid dish detergent
2 C. water

  • Fill a spray bottle with the ingredients then shake well.

Pepper Recipe

1/2 C. hot peppers (or 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper)
1 tsp liquid dish detergent

  • Bring 1 quart water to a boil, remove from heat and add peppers. Cover and steep until cool. Strain then add soap. If using cayenne pepper, no need to bring to a boil first.

Citrus Spritz

2 C. orange peels (or lemons)

  • Bring 4 cups water to a boil, remove from heat and add peels. Cover and steep until cool. Strain. Ideal for repelling white flies.

Soapy Baking Soda

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

  • Combine all ingredients together and it’s ready to go.

Peppermint Tea

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

  • Combine ingredients and treat as an insect spray (terrific for ants).

Japanese Beetle Bait Trap

2 C. water
1 mashed banana
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. wine
1/2 tsp yeast

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

Potato Tea

1 C. potato plant leaves*

  • Chop then cover with 2 cups hot water. Seal container and set aside for 24 hours in a sunny window. Strain.
  • These are poisonous, take care when preparing and handling. Do not use on food bearing varieties.

Neem Solution

1 TBS Neem soap (shavings)

  • Add to 1 liter water then let sit for an hour. Shake then it’s ready.

Mineral Oil Spritz

3 parts oil per 100 parts water

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

Easy Solution

2 TBS soap flakes (avoid 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

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 C. Sunlight dish soap
1 TBS vegetable oil

Directions:

  • Mix ingredients together then store in a plastic, airtight container.
  • Ratio: 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 one week).
  • Warm to cool weather, treat once a week for 3 weeks.

Tips

  • Apply the chosen formula on top of the leaves as well as underneath–don’t overdo it, excess can cause damage.
  • Most recipes are effective as a weekly treatment. Excessive use may affect vegetation as well as kill the beneficial creepers 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 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 rain.
  • When trying a new solution, test on just a couple leaves first (apply then watch how they react after two or three days, if no signs of damage proceed with spraying).

Organic 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

Related Posts

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Comments

    • Akilah
    Reply

    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!

    • Dotty Anne
    Reply

    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.

    • Kris
    Reply

    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

      • Rachele
      Reply

      Try planting an area at the edge of your yard with catnip! I would also dig up the soil where the cats urinated and replace it! I know this is expensive, but cat urine won’t even allow plants to survive. Not to mention, that is disgusting!

      • Kara
      Reply

      spray them with a hose every time you see them =) they will get a clue eventually!

      • Zara
      Reply

      Theres a visitor cat in my house which started using my pots as litter box she nibbled all the baby plants, digged the soil out until roots were exposed. I’ve read somewhere to use strong smelling essential oils like orange or eucalyptus to repel cats from garden which I didn’t had. But thinking of eucalyptus I grabbed the Vicks and coated it on all the pot’s rims. It worked like a charm and the cat didn’t even step in the garden.

    • Tera
    Reply

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

      • Zara
      Reply

      I was going to spray salt water on my basil and mint for leaf miner until I saw your comment.. So sorry to hear that . Maybe you used a stronger concentration.

    • Dana
    Reply

    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.

      • Belle
      Reply

      I use TomCat white Glue Boards. It is non-toxic and has a sticky side that will catch the spiders and other crawlers in your house….even mice.
      I have spiders in my home that crawl around, especially at night. I place them near the wall under furniture and especially under my bed. I have trapped hundreds of spiders all sizes and many other crawlers. I toss the boards after a few months or when the boards are full.

    • m9man
    Reply

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

    • Melonie
    Reply

    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

    • winifred scott
    Reply

    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.

    • Cheryl
    Reply

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

      • travis
      Reply

      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

    • John Gebhart
    Reply

    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.

    • Kristina
    Reply

    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?

    • Annette
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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.

      • annamarie
      Reply

      Sounds like you may have a calcium issue. Tomatoes love calcium! You can purchase liquid calcium concentrate from your local garden center-usually in the organic section. Mix according to instructions and spray your plants 1-2xs a week. Make sure you spray early in the day to avoid leaf burn. Adding garden limestone and nitrogen into the soil before planting is also a great way to start your plants off. For the worms, try a BT concentrate (Garden Safe is a good onr) this takes out caterpillars and worms and doesn’t harm beneficials. Since it doesn’t discriminate, don’t use it on plants that host butterfly caterpillars (don’t worry-those don’t feed on tomatoes) like any plants in the parsely family.Good luck and happy organic gardening!

    • melinda
    Reply

    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.

    • carolyn k
    Reply

    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.

    • Elizabeth G.
    Reply

    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.

    • Vicki
    Reply

    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
      Reply

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

      • GLORIA
      Reply

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

    • Glenda H
    Reply

    WOULD ALSO LIKE TO KNOW HOW TO GET RID OF GRUBS IN THE GARDEN

    • Glenda H
    Reply

    anyone know how to get rid of potato bugs?

      • Tipnut
      Reply

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

        • Sandy
        Reply

        I have potato bugs and am wondering if I can uses the fels naptha mixture on the plants? Will it hurt or get into the potatoes?

      • john grrigsby
      Reply

      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
      Reply

      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!

    • Pauline
    Reply

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

    • Debbra W
    Reply

    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.

    • Godfrey
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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.

    • betty
    Reply

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

      • siddhant sharma
      Reply

      any yeast will do

    • Dottie
    Reply

    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!

      • Sally
      Reply

      If you squish the stink bugs they will “invite all their friends to the funeral”…..the stench will attract more and more. Better if you are gentle with them. Bucket of soapy water should be fine. I’ve had friends stick them in a half empty margarine container, sticking them down in what’s left of the marg. But again, this is only if you can catch them and they aren’t over abundant.

      • Olivia
      Reply

      As soon as you smell that Almond smell on your shrubs, that’s the first sign the stinkbugs have settled in. Get the bucket of hot soapy water out and catch and drop them in, then check each branch for eggs, and clean them off, then spray each leaf and branch top and bottom. But they’ll be back the same time the next year! Some of them get away as soon as they see the bucket coming, they up and fly away, so you have to keep checking.

    • Dottie
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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.

        • Rasili O'Connor
        Reply

        Hello Ray,
        I live South Australia. Have just moved to house…the garden is infested (strong word but true!) with earwigs.

        Ray, what have you ended up using to stop them eating your plants?

        (One night I came out and the new Asian greens I’d planted were literally covered in young earwigs!)

        In case useful for anyone: I’ve heard that Guinea Fowl eat earwigs.
        (Because Guinea Fowl are noisy and I live in a suburban area, I don’t have them).

    • jacki
    Reply

    …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!

      • Joyce
      Reply

      I not only put bay leaves in the cupboards, but also in containers of any grain products, like flour, cornmeal, grits, any kind of dry pasta, Bisquick, pancake mix, etc.

      I always plant marigolds around my tomatoes, and I’ve never had cutworms. I’ve heard garlic and daffodils work too, but haven’t tried them.

    • cindy
    Reply

    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?

      • siddhant sharma
      Reply

      yes, u can use but in a little quantity

    • katherine
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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!

    • jason
    Reply

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

      • vicky
      Reply

      spray with salt water, it really works, best crop I’ve ever had.

    • Catherine
    Reply

    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
      Reply

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

      • Dottie
      Reply

      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
      Reply

      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
      Reply

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

      • Sam
      Reply

      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!

        • Sam
        Reply

        This also works with any other ” villians”, such as racoons, skunks, rabbits, etc

      • Helen
      Reply

      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.

        • kelli
        Reply

        Bounty sheets are what the fruit farmers in Michugan use. Also works for arborvitae.

      • judy
      Reply

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

      • Fred
      Reply

      Tie a string about 3 – 31/2 ft. high around your garden, hang small pieces of cloth with urine on them about every four feet apart the deer will not touch the string. Make a “gate” with one end tied to the stick and on the other end have a loop to pass over the top of the stick. The urine will carry the strong human smell which the deer are afraid of. This is a old hunters trick to bar trails in the woods to direct deer down a certain (unbarred)trail right into the area of a tree stand.

    • Lynne
    Reply

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

    • phillips
    Reply

    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!

      • Morgan
      Reply

      boric acid is very toxic, and will kill animals and children. It’s rat poison.

    • LaTricia
    Reply

    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
      Reply

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

        • Pauline
        Reply

        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.

      • Sha in GA
      Reply

      I tried the boric acid and it didn’t work for me. If the infestation is really severe you may just have to resort to the professionals. After nearly a year of trying every natural approach possible I finally gave up. It was just too overwhelming and I was getting physically sick from it all. But since they came, I have not seen one in the last 4 years. I know this isn’t what you all are about here. But when it comes to roaches, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

    • Jean
    Reply

    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).

      • AH
      Reply

      My husband and I are vegetarian. We don’t buy blood meal for that reason. Has anyone tried the dish soap/cooking oil/water solution? If so, does it actually work to get rid of slugs and pill bugs? Or does this solution just kill your plants? I’m afraid to try any of these methods. We live in the “Heartland” of the Midwest USA. It rains a lot in the spring and summer (especially May and June). I planted my strawberries in a sunny spot in my garden so would I have to apply the solution when the sun goes down?

    • Sara
    Reply

    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?

    • hema
    Reply

    please give some natural remedies for eradicating bedbugs.

    thanx

      • Tipnut
      Reply

      Hi hema, I have tips for bed bugs on this page, hope they help!

    • Carla
    Reply

    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.

    • Lynn
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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.

        • Laura
        Reply

        I have a terrible problem with chiggers and was advised to use Diatomaceous Earth Insect control. It is safe around chickens and domestic animals. Can actually mix in their food to repel chiggers and mosquitoes but not sure exactly how much to mix. Anyone know the proportion per body weight ? Was also advised to put on dry ground for best effect.

      • Donna
      Reply

      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
        Reply

        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.

          • Lori
          Reply

          I live in Toronto, Canada but last year we had an infestation of woodland ticks as well as regular dog fleas in our yard. We used vinegar,water,lemon extract and original dawn dish soap. I did my entire house every three days, as we were in a heat wave and the egg cycle was shortened, for three weeks. We also sprayed the entire yard every day for two weeks. We then removed any rocks and free standing wood piles so that there was nothing to reattract the ticks. This worked for last summer hoping not to have the problem again this year. The vinegar and lemon mix burnt the grass and we had to reseed but we did get rid of the ticks and the fleas. Got this solution from my vet. Do not know if it will work on sand fleas but it is green and will not harm children or animals.

          • Shawnda
          Reply

          You can also use the Borax on most furniture. But always test it first. Ans always make sure you vacuum the furniture while doing the carpet etc. and put the vacuum bag in a trash bag that is sealed as much as possible. Take it out and as far away from house till trash day. Treat your house again in about 3 days. We got fleas once and we didn’t even have a pet except fish! We did the Borax twice (didn’t see any after first time). But second time was for good measure lol. Worked great!! We actually put it on the carpet and just walked on it like normal. I have asthma and did ok. We just didn’t stir up dust when my husband put it down. We put it on the furniture the next morning before we left. I did leave while he vacuumed. We have a newer Kirby so it filters well. We opened windows before hand too. I went in about an hour later. It worked great!

    • Bridget
    Reply

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

    • Bryan
    Reply

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

      • Alex
      Reply

      MAybe a dog can help.

        • Priscilla
        Reply

        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
          Reply

          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

            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
      Reply

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

        • Tammy G
        Reply

        moth balls deter both squirrels and snakes. They make snake deterrent spray that is just liquid moth balls. We have scattered moth balls where there is a snake problem or a squirrel problem. Also have boxes of moth balls in attic to deter squirrels from chewing through vents to nest in attic. Moth balls are terribly poisonous. Our dogs never touched them but dogs or kids could eat them. They do smell positively awful however.

        • Judy c
        Reply

        Ihave tried the blood, hair, and lots of others but finally found this little charm…rotten eggs. I take 3 egg yolks and whisk them in a small container ( sour cream or cottage cheese works well) with some water, then let them sit outside a day or two (you can’t do it too long)…it will get stinky…pour it in a gallon sprayer and fill with water and spray everything…the deer wont touch it. I live on 4.5 acres and have 1 1/2 acres of flowers and garden…the deer were eating me out of house and home til I came up with this…I looked at the list of ingredients in Liquid Fence and the number one was…putrified egg yolks…bingo! You should repeat it several times.. I started with weekly then went to bi-weekly, then monthly… When I forget the deer have a smorgasbord; thats when I know its time to spray again…

      • Sherry
      Reply

      I make a ‘tea’ every year that I spray only around the borders of my garden. I’ve been doing this for about 5-6 years now and no longer lose my greens to rabbits or squirrels- it even keeps opossums away. In a large pot, I boil a whole head of garlic( with cloves cut into pieces), several chopped hot peppers, and a whole onion(chopped). Let it cool, strain it, and put the liquid in a spray bottle. As I said, I only spray the borders- never directly on the plants. I spray about once a week and after it rains.

      • Bev
      Reply

      Sliced cucumbers in an aluminum pie tin keeps them away. They don’t like the smell the cucumber on the metal creates. You don’t smell it but they do and stay away! It cannot be an aluminum foil pan, has to the metal kind. downfall, the cucumbers dry out in the sun so have to replace every few days.

    • Jan
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      Coffee grounds keep slugs away.

      • charlena
      Reply

      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.

    • Bob Giga
    Reply

    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.

      • PG
      Reply

      I have a yard full of fire ants. I tried the grits and they didn’t help. I also tried borax and sugar syrup. That seemed to help a little. I am going nuts trying to figure out what to do next. I am on the verge of using chemicals but I have a stream running behind my house which I dn’t want to pollute. Does your friend or anyone else have any other natural solutions for fire ants? Someone PLEASE, help.

        • tcinque
        Reply

        I have the same problem here in Louisiana. The fire ants were taking over my backyard so I mixed sugar and baking soda together and sprinkled it wherever I saw a mound and it worked. The sugar attracts them, and when they eat it it explodes their insides. And it works every time!

      • Susan
      Reply

      I was wondering. Is this also good for carpenter ants…??

      • Minda
      Reply

      Does the hominy hurt anything else? I don’t like to kill spiders and beneficial insects.

      • robert A WHEELER
      Reply

      ground hominy or full

    • madz
    Reply

    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.

    • Dennis Fenter
    Reply

    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.????????

      • TipNut
      Reply

      Whoops! Thanks for pointing that out Dennis, I fixed the ingredient list.

    • Gwynne
    Reply

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

    • tess
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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
        Reply

        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
        Reply

        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
      Reply

      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
      Reply

      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
      Reply

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

        • william
        Reply

        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
          Reply

          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
          Reply

          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.

        • BJ
        Reply

        What is the best mixture to kill or deter horn worms from my tomato plants?
        Thanks

      • anna faye
      Reply

      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
      Reply

      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!

      • nisa
      Reply

      try put empty beer bottle or any bottle(slanting)in the hole. It WORK!

      • Sheryl
      Reply

      My brother used to work for a lawn care company. Their fix for moles was to put sticks of juicyfruit gum down the holes. The fruity smell attracted them and the gum “gums” up their innards.

      • Celina F.
      Reply

      In the South we have moles like crazy and I have found one way to rid of them without $$$ or special devices. The process make take a bit of time depending on how many tunnels there are. With a water hose on medium flow, begin by collapsing the tunnel from the top, continue until you have collapsed all tunnels. One of two things will happen with this process, as you water down the tunnel, keep an eye on the tunnel, because moles can’t swim, they will begin digging up to escape (it will look like the earth is opening up) have a bucket or shovel ready to do as you please with the nuisance. You may collapse all the tunnels and the mole not appear, don’t worry. The next day recheck the collapsed tunnels. If the tunnels are still collapsed he or she has moved on, so check for new tunnels in the area. Collapse the new tunnels with water hose and you will locate the mole. I have located in as little as 3 minutes and other times it was the next day before I was able to dispose of.

      • Laura
      Reply

      A bit of human hair put into their hole deters them for at least a year. Apparently they don’t care for our scent.

    • Smiley
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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
        Reply

        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
          Reply

          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
        Reply

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

    • CAROLYN
    Reply

    MY HOLLYHOCKS & ROSES ARE BEING ATE UP. HELP. I ALSO HAVE PROBLEMS WITH MY GRAPE LEAVES.

      • susi
      Reply

      Sounds like you have a Japanese beetle problem.

      • Zula
      Reply

      The leaves on my Easter lilies are being eaten by wild rabbits. Is there any way I can ward the rabbits off?

        • Lisa
        Reply

        @ a pinch of Cayenne pepper-grind as fine as possible with mortar and pestle or electric seed grinder- add a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle of water.

        Deer were eating my Hostas; after I sprayed them with this, they left them alone, and I never had to spray them again, year after year–no more deer!

    • k
    Reply

    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
      Reply

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

      • RP
      Reply

      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…

        • A
        Reply

        What would you use to keep mosquitoes and ticks away?

    • Bill in Detroit
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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.

    • Bill
    Reply

    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.

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