The Ultimate Guide To The Best Natural Insecticides

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Written By Michael

I love gardening, building, making and fixing things. 

 

 

 

 

Lemon, orange peels, garlic powder, and chili powder, serve as the 4 main best natural insecticides. Your lemon and orange peels have a chance to do double duty if you hang onto them and plant them in the garden. They will discourage rodents, as well as cats from digging in the garden.’

Garden Pests

Garden pests include insects such as aphids, beetles, caterpillars, mites, spiders, slugs, snails, thrips, whiteflies, wasp nests, ants, bees, birds, bats, centipedes, crickets, cicadas, grasshoppers, mice, millipedes, nematodes, roaches, scorpions, snakes, termites, ticks, woodlice, worms, and fungi like mildew or rust. Some garden pests can be beneficial because they eat harmful garden plants that would otherwise harm your crops. However, some of these creatures are also considered agricultural pests.

Beneficial Insects

Not all insects are harmful, there are actually some that can be beneficial for your plants. These include ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies, aphids, mealy bugs, mites, thrips, leafhoppers, beetles, ants, bees, wasps, butterflies, dragonfly nymphs, damselflies, caddis flies, mayflies, stoneflies, midges, grasshopper eggs,  and of course, spiders.

Natural Insecticides

There is no need to buy chemical insecticide sprays or dusts when using these methods:

1) Planting garlic around your vegetable gardens helps repel pests such as fleas, ticks, earwigs, slugs, snails, caterpillars, grubs, cutworms, Japanese Beetles, cabbage loopers, squash vine borers, cucumber beetles, corn root worms, Colorado potato beetle, tomato hornworm, stink bug, spider mite, white fly, and many more! Garlic has been used by farmers since ancient times because it works so effectively against most types of pests without harming humans or pets. It also controls weeds naturally. You don’t even have to dig up the bulbs; just place them on top of the soil where they’ll grow into healthy new cloves. The best time to plant garlic is early fall through late spring. If planted too close together, the roots won’t develop properly. To avoid this problem, space each clove at least 6 inches apart.

2) Sprinkle crushed eggshells around your flower beds to keep away pesky flying insects like mosquitoes, gnats, black flies, horseflies, deer flies, yellow jackets, wasps, bumblebees, honey bees, and others. This method does not harm birds or other animals. Egg shells contain calcium carbonate which acts as a deterrent to predators.

3) Use marigolds to deter unwanted visitors Marigold flowers attract pollinators while their leaves provide food for predatory insects. In addition, marigolds produce compounds called pyrethrins that kill certain kinds of insects. Pyrethroids work quickly and last longer than older synthetic chemicals.

4) Spray citrus trees with water mixed with soap before planting. Soap kills bacteria and fungi that cause diseases. Citrus tree disease control starts with good hygiene practices. Clean tools and equipment regularly. Wash hands frequently. Keep children out of areas where diseased fruit might be present. Remove any damaged parts of fruits immediately. Do not eat unripe fruit until fully ripe. Avoid touching infected surfaces.

5) Place small amounts of hot pepper oil near your home entrances to ward off house-invading insects. Hot peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that irritates insects’ sensory nerves. Capsaicin is found in chili peppers, but only minute quantities are needed to make a difference. A few drops sprinkled inside cracks and crevices should suffice.

6) Make sure your lawn contains plenty of nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Nitrogen encourages growth of green foliage, including those of broadleaf plants. Without enough nitrogen, grasses turn brown and die back. Lawn fertilizers containing ammonium nitrate, urea, potassium chloride, and/or sulfur help prevent turfgrass damage caused by drought conditions.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatoms are microscopic algae that live in freshwater lakes and oceans. They’re often referred to as “seeds” because some species can reproduce sexually. When diatoms get wet, they release tiny air pockets that expand when exposed to oxygen. These bubbles trap dust particles suspended in the surrounding liquid. As these trapped particles settle to the bottom of ponds and streams, they form hard layers known as sedimentary rock. Over millions of years, these rocks become compacted into shale. Shale deposits may occur horizontally across riverbeds or vertically within caves. Some shales are rich in fossils from long ago. Fossilized remains of prehistoric marine life include corals, trilobites, brachiopods, crinoids, echinoderms, gastropod mollusks, sponges, cephalopods, and fish.

Diatomaceous earth is made by grinding dried diatom fragments under high pressure. Because it’s composed mostly of silica, it doesn’t dissolve easily in water. However, you can add it to garden hoses if necessary. Water running over DE will break down its structure and allow it to flow freely. Once dissolved, DE dissolves organic material, killing both microorganisms and larger organisms. For example, DE breaks down moldy foods and prevents cockroaches from breeding.

Natural Pesticides

Planting cover crops such as clover helps keep soil healthy and reduces weeds. Clover also provides nectar for beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. It improves soil quality through composting and adds nutrients to the soil. Clover has been used since ancient times to protect against pests. The Romans planted clovers around grain fields to discourage rodents. Today, farmers plant clover on pastures to reduce weed competition and improve animal health.

Apply soapy water to vegetable gardens to repel aphids. Aphids suck sap from plants using special mouthparts. To stop them, spray soapy water directly onto infested plants. This method works best during warm weather months. If you don’t have access to soapy water, mix one part dishwashing liquid, two parts white vinegar, and three parts water. Dip an old toothbrush into this mixture and brush away!

Sprinkle garlic powder around tomato cages to keep birds from eating tomatoes. Garlic powder deters many types of animals, especially birds. You’ll find it at most grocery stores.

Add crushed eggshells to bird feeder waterers to encourage more songbirds. Eggshells contain calcium carbonate, which makes up about half of bone tissue. Birds need calcium to build strong bones and teeth. Crushed shells also serve as grit to aid digestion.

Homemade Insecticides

To make homemade insecticide sprays, combine equal amounts of borax with hot water. Borax kills ants, roaches, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, flies, wasps, and other bugs. Mix 1 cup boric acid crystals with 2 cups boiling water. Let cool before spraying. Spray surfaces where pests tend to congregate. Keep children out of treated areas until all traces of pesticide disappear.

Mix 3 tablespoons baking soda with 4 teaspoons rubbing alcohol. Use this solution to kill spiders, centipedes, scorpions, and other crawling creatures. Sprinkling the mixture on webs traps the spider inside. Allow the web to dry completely before removing it.

Make your own bug zapper by mixing together 5 gallons of water, 10 pounds of salt, and 20 drops of peppermint oil. Salt attracts mosquitos while peppermint oil keeps them off balance. Place the container near lights or windows to attract flying insects.

Use citrus peels to deter fruit fly larvae. Fruit flies lay eggs in ripening fruits. Larvae hatch after several days and eat holes in the skin. Cut open oranges and lemons and remove seeds. Squeeze juice into containers filled with sand. Cover the top with screen mesh. After a few weeks, empty the contents of the container and replace with fresh food scraps.

If you’re interested in making your own homemade pesticides have a look at this video, It shows you very clearly how to make it.

Insecticidal Soaps

Soap is made when lye reacts with fats and oils found in soap-making ingredients. Lye can be purchased at hardware stores. Make sure that any products containing lye are kept far away from pets and young children.

Combine 6 ounces castile soap flakes, 8 ounces olive oil, and 16 ounces distilled water in a large bowl. Stir well. Add enough lye to create a thick paste. Store in airtight jars. Apply to affected area once daily. Rinse thoroughly afterward.

Lemon essential oil mixed with water will help control houseflies. Combine ¼ ounce lemon essential oil per gallon of water. Shake vigorously before each application.

Natural Pesticides

Pests may not always respond to traditional methods of pest management. In these cases, try some of these nontraditional ways:

• Plant flowers that provide pollen and nectar for pollinators. Flowers include marigolds, cosmos, sunflowers, dill, lavender, rosemary, thyme, sage, chives, basil, geranium, petunia, snapdragon, daisy, butterfly bush, honeysuckle, hollyhock, morning glory, and others.

• Grow vegetables close to trees and shrubs. These plants release volatile organic compounds that ward off pests. For example, carrots grow better if they’re grown next to apple trees because apples emit ethylene gas, which causes roots to swell.

Natural Predators

Introducing natural predators, if safe to do so, is always a good idea Some examples include ladybugs, praying mantises, lacewings, dragonfly nymphs, parasitic wasp larvae, and tachinid flies. You’ll find more information about introducing beneficial insects here.