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Natural DIY Pesticides That Actually Work

These days, most people are painfully aware of the devastatingly dangerous effects chemical pesticides can have on human health. It’s not only expert landscapers that can create gorgeous vegetable gardens at home. Nevertheless, growing your own food at home represents a constant struggle against millions of critters.

So you find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place. You want your fruits and vegetables to reach their full potential, of course, but you also don’t want to pump all manner of harmful chemicals all over the place.

Is there a solution? What would the pro landscapers advise? Or better yet, what do landscapers use as alternatives?

1. Oil spray insecticide

First up, one of the simplest and potentially most effective homemade pesticides is based around standard vegetable oil. It’s simply a case of taking 1 cup of vegetable oil and adding 1 tablespoon of liquid soap, before shaking it all together. This is then the concentrate you can mix with water, as and when required. When you wish to use it, take approximately 2 teaspoons of the solution and dilute it with around one litre of water. Give it all a good shake and spray it on the areas to be treated. Though harmless to most plants, the solution sticks to the bodies of insects and prevents them from breathing. A firm favourite among expert landscapers.

2. Soap spray insecticide

This homemade pesticide is very similar to the one above, though doesn’t require any vegetable oil. It also tends to be particularly effective against beetles, whiteflies, aphids and various mites. Simply take 1 l of water and add just under 2 teaspoons of mild liquid soap. Give the whole thing a good shake and use a spray bottle to treat the required areas. One note of importance however – do not use this soap-based insecticide on particularly hot days when the plants in question are in direct sunlight. Doing so could lead to rapid drying and leave behind potentially harmful residue.

3. Neem oil insecticide

Also a favourite among landscapers, you may or may not have already come across neem oil. This 100% natural product is known to disrupt the life cycle of insects at all stages, making it highly effective as a pesticide. It is also completely non-toxic, easy to use and difficult to go wrong with. There are plenty of natural pest prevention products currently available that are based around neem oil and are ready to use. If you want to make your own, you will need around 2 teaspoons of neem oil, 1 teaspoon of mild liquid soap and around 1 litre or water. Again, it’s simply a case of giving all ingredients a good shake in a spray bottle, before treating the required areas. One of the best things about this particular remedy is that it can be used as a preventative treatment for your plants, preventing infestation from happening in the first place.

4. Garlic insecticide spray

Just as long as you don’t mind a particularly pungent garlic fragrance about the place, this is one homemade remedy that never fails to impress. The good news being that whatever your own thoughts on garlic, many of the insects you would rather see the back of cannot stand the stuff. To make a simple garlic spray that works, you’ll need two full bulbs (not cloves) of garlic which will need to be minced thoroughly in a food processor, adding a little water to aid the process.  Add this to around 1 litre of water and give it 24 hours to infuse. After this, strain the liquid into a container, add 1 teaspoon of mild liquid soap, 150ml of vegetable oil and top up with water if necessary. Once it has all been mixed together, you are ready to go.

5. Chili pepper insecticide spray

Last but not least, another ingredient that never fails to divide opinion can also be hugely effective as an insecticide. In this instance, you can either blend fresh chilies with a little water to create a puree and boil in 1 litre of water for 5 minutes, or add a tablespoon of chili powder to a litre of water with a few drops of mild liquid soap. Landscapers recommend caution when using this particularly pungent DIY chili spray however. For obvious reasons, it has the potential to be somewhat hazardous to humans and animals, as well as common garden pests.



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