Organic Insect Spray Recipes

Use of organic insect spray is more friendly to the environment. They are comprised of common organic materials, soaps and occasionally other environmentally friendly materials. They are often home brewed recipes that you can make and save money along the way. Or, if you are not inclined to make up a batch of your own, they are readily available at most garden supply stores.

If you have a “recipe” for home-made insecticides or fungicides, please email us so we can share it with others!

home-made insecticide spray
make your own organic insecticide spray

How it Works

Insecticidal soaps sprays make use of the fatty acids in soap (and oil if you use it) to suffocate small, soft-bodied insects and arthropods such as aphids, mealybugs, thrips, whiteflies, spider mites, leaf hoppers, earwigs, and immature scales (crawlers). Upon contact, the fatty acids disrupt the permeability and structure of the insects’ cell membranes, dissolving their exoskeletons and fatally dehydrating them.

Insecticidal soap sprays are contact treatments. They only work when sprayed directly on the pests, and are only effective for as long as they remain wet. Dry soap does nothing. If you can’t see the your bugs, you are probably not going to get any results with these sprays.
Where and How to Use It

Where and How to Use Your Homemade Insect Spray
Dry conditions especially together with high temps (above 90°F) increase a plant’s stress. These same conditions will also boost their sensitivity to the soap. This doesn’t work so well in your favor. You should avoid spraying on hot, sunny days and always make certain your plants are well watered first.

Your organic insecticide is best applied when the above conditions are less severe, like early in the morning or evening. The cooler temperatures cause evaporation of the soap to take longer (contact poison, remember? Once it drys, insecticidal soap is ineffective.

Insecticidal soaps are not systemic insecticides a systemic is something that absorbs into the plant’s tissue where some it is absorbed by the what is eating it. Contact spray works only on direct contact with insects, so make sure you cover all plant surfaces where you see pests with a fine spray. It is especially important to spray the undersides of the leaves as this is where many pests hang out.

Garlic Insect Spray:

Use: All Purpose
The sulfur compounds in garlic keep bugs away by simply producing an odor that garden pests simply do not like.
Ingredients:

  • 1 Garlic Bulb
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Gallon Water

Instructions:

  1. Take an entire garlic bulb and two cups of water and blend in blender.
  2. Mix at high speed for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Pour into a container and set aside for up to one day.
  4. Strain liquid through a cheese cloth.
  5. Mix liquid with one gallon of water.
  6. Apply liberally on top and bottom of leaves. Spray where you see insect damage or where you see the bad bugs. (Are you SURE?) Bugs like to hide underneath leaves, so be sure to spray there as well as on the top and stems.
  7. (Garlic spray works especially well against aphids)

a garlic bulb is comprised of several cloves

Garlic is toxic to bugs and it also helps keep bacteria and harmful fungus from harming your plants. As an added bonus it also has fungicidal properties that may aid or prevent some diseases.
* Garlic spray will also kill beneficial insects, so use wisely.

Insecticide Soap Spray:

Insecticidal soap spray is especially excellent for squash bugs.
Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Put one tablespoon of soap per gallon into a sprayer.
  2. Apply liberally on top and bottom of leaves.
  3. Re-apply after rain or one to two weeks.

Hot Pepper Insect Spray:

This can be used to repel, deer, rabbits and other pests from your flowers and some vegetables. Note, use caution with vegetables as a peppery taste may remain on the fruit. Use care in handling because capsicum (the hot in hot pepper) can really burn your eyes and possibly your skin if you are sensitive.
Ingredients:

  • Hot Peppers (hot, hot as you can find!)
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 quart Water

Instructions:

  1. Put hot peppers and two cups of water into a blender.
  2. Mix at high speed for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Pour into a container and set aside for up to one day.
  4. Strain liquid through a cheese cloth.
  5. Add liquid into a one quart container. Fill container to top with water.
  6. Apply liberally to plants. Re-apply every week to two weeks or after a rain.

Citrus Peel Natural Insect Spray

Effective against soft bodied insects like as aphids, mites, and caterpillars.
Ingredients:

  • 1 quart boiled water
  • peel of 1 citrus fruit (orange, lemon, or both)
  • a fine strainer
  • funnel
  • spray bottle

Directions:

  1. Steep the chopped citrus peel overnight in the boiling water.
  2. Strain your citrus “tea” through a fine strainer to be certain to strain all the tiny particles and avoid clogging your sprayer.
  3. Funnel the liquid into a spray bottle and use.

Fungicide/ Powdery Mildew Spray:

Ingredients:

Extremely important:

If you choose to use bleach, do not use too much! Use no more than 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. We hesitate to recommend using bleach at all as it can harm you and your plants if too much is applied. Use it at your own risk and try to avoid spraying it on healthy leaves.

Instructions:

  1. Snip and remove leaves that are worst affected.
  2. Mix ingredients with water.
  3. Spray remaining leaves top and undersides.
  4. Apply a heavier dose on leaves that have signs of infection and only lightly
    on unaffected leaves as bleach can actually harm and discolor the leaves.
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