Home vegetable gardeners have home made solutions to commercial insecticides. Most recipes for making your own insecticides use common household ingredients like soaps, cooking oils and spices sold in grocery stores. When these ingredients are safe for humans, they are lethal to insects. Homemade pest killers are best if used when pest infestations are only getting started. They also function better if combined with other management techniques like hand selecting and crop rotation.
A typical multi-species insecticide recipe calls for 2 gallons of warm water to which you stir 2 tbsp each of vinegar, canola oil and liquid soap, and 3 level tablespoons of baking soda. Another recipe calls for mixing 2 tablespoons of powdered hot red peppers and 6 drops of liquid soap in 1 gallon of water. Mix well and let it sit overnight. Stir again and let it settle.
Garlic is effective against a huge variety of garden insect pests. Make a garlic-based bug spray by crushing and peeling the cloves in 1 garlic bulb. Mix the crushed cloves with 1 tablespoon of liquid soap, 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 2 cups of water. Allow to steep overnight, then strain out any solids. A recipe to control sucking insects like aphids, scale insects and thrips consists of 2 tbsp cooking oil and 2 tbsp liquid baby soap dissolved in 1 gallon of water.
Using Your Sprays
Pour your preferred insecticidal mixture into a spray bottle and then thoroughly moist either side of leaves, contacting as many insects as you can. Attempt to spray only the leaves, but do not worry if some gets on the vegetables; only make sure you clean the vegetables before eating them. Duplicate the spray per week as required. Water your plants well the day before using one of these sprays. Always test your home made pest killer by spraying it on a few leaves; check after 48 hours to ensure it didn’t burn the plant. Do not use any soaps which contain bleach; that can hurt plants. Apply mixtures from the early morning or early evening once the sun is less intense.
Homemade insecticide will function more efficiently in the event that you combine it with cultural controls which disrupt insects’ life cycles. The earliest cultural control is crop rotation. Increasing the identical vegetable in precisely the exact same spot year after year makes it effortless for overwintering insects to find the next year. For smaller gardens, hand-picking supplies an effective management of many kinds of insect pests. Practice decent garden sanitation to help keep pest populations down. That means removing weeds, trash along with also the “volunteer” vegetables in last year’s garden which could harbor insect pests. Remove and compost crop residue when you’ve harvested the good parts.