The market is flooded with all sorts of insecticides, pesticides, and other pathogen-killing chemical formulations. Many of these products are effective in getting rid of troublesome insects within a short time. However, the downside is an increased risk of bioaccumulation, which over time affects the food chain and reaches humans. Considering this factor, most gardeners prefer planting natural insect repellents for pest control.
How to Make Natural Insecticide at Home?
In addition to polluting the environment and disturbing the food chain, a worrying issue with repeated use of the same insecticide over a period of time, is development of resistance power by household insects. Consequently, we are left with more resistant pests and insects to deal with. To reduce these negative outcomes, a perfect solution is to learn to make organic insecticide, which is not all that difficult.
#1: Garlic Spray
To make a natural insect repellent using garlic, chop garlic cloves (3 ounces) and soak the pieces in mineral oil (2 tablespoons) for one night. For added effectiveness, stir in fish emulsion (1 teaspoon) in the garlic mixture. Strain the liquid part and store it in an airtight glass container. While using, dilute one part of this natural insect repellent with 20 parts water and spray on the plants.
#2: Tomato Leaf Extract
Tomato leaf is excellent to control insect and pest infestations in flowering plants. For this, you will need leaves of a mature tomato plant, 4 pints water, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. First, blend the tomato leaves in a mixer and stir the extract with cornstarch and water. Using a sprayer, apply this mixture to rose and other flowering plants.
#3: Saline Water
If you notice spider mites and cabbage worms, the best natural insecticide is salt water. Dissolve 4 tablespoons salt in 2 gallons of water. Apply this saline solution to kill the said garden pests. Salt is also commonly used in natural herbicides, but remember, that applying a highly concentrated salt solution will negatively affect the soil in the area.
#4: Neem Oil
Neem (Azadirachta indica) possesses natural pest repellent properties, thus serving as an excellent ingredient for killing insects. Nothing can beat the effectiveness of neem oil and neem spray in controlling troublesome garden pests. As you apply neem oil to plants, the insects suck the oil and die. Thus, neem oil serves as a systemic poison for the insects.
#5: Hot Pepper and Garlic
Combine 1 quart water, 1 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce, and 4 garlic cloves in a bowl. Blend it for 2 to 3 minutes and strain using a cheesecloth. Apply this hot pepper spray to get rid of caterpillars, aphids, and whiteflies. You can refrigerate the leftover mixture in an airtight container for future application.
#6: Diatomaceous Earth
A safe natural insecticide is diatomaceous earth, a white powder derived from diatoms. Sprinkle this powder in the soil to reduce slugs, whiteflies, aphids, and other soft-bodied insects. Another effectual fungicide and insecticide is boric acid, which is soluble in water. Make a dilute solution of boric acid and water, and use it for treating fungus, as well as ants, fleas, ticks, and termites.
If you do not have time to make these insecticides, simply place shallow bowls with beer near the plants. This will attract slugs and snails, thus preventing them from affecting your garden. For long-term protection of plants from flea-beetles, you can grow mint and onion in the vegetable garden.