Organic gardening pest control recipes

Organic Gardening Pest Control Recipes

Organic Gardening Pest Control Recipes

Organic gardening pest control recipes
Organic Gardening Pest Control Recipes


It is that time of year again. I love spring!!! Days are getting longer and temperature is getting warmer. The sun is shining. Birds are singing. Buds on trees. Time to plant our gardens!! And what better way to control your garden pests this summer than using these organic gardening pest control recipes.


I have always had a passion for gardening and a love of plants. It is also how my career as a biologist and environmentalist began. I started out in horticulture, majoring in landscaping. My first real job was working for a zoo as a horticulturist. I remember taking a course on pesticides and getting my pesticide license, which I refused to use. There are just so many other ways to control pests that are less expensive, safer for you and your family, and better for the environment.

Two things to remember when you are out gardening this year, which will help with pest control, is prevention and beneficial insects.



The easiest way to prevent garden pests from damaging your plants is by discouraging them in the first place. There are several ways you can do this:

  • Create healthy organic soil. Using mulch, compost or natural fertilizer helps create strong, vigorous plants. Weak plants attract pests.
  • Minimize insect habitat. Keep your garden weed free. Weeds can be breeding places for insects.
  • Water early in the morning. Wet foliage encourages insect and fungal damage. Try to keep plant foliage dry.
  • Pull out any weak plants. Dispose of them in a closed container away from your garden area.
  • Disinfect your garden tools. If you have been working with infested plants, make sure to clean your tools before using them in another area of your garden.
  • Use a good fertilizer. Plant fertilizers enhance growth and give plants the strength to withstand insect damage and disease.


Organic Gardening Pest Control Recipes
Organic Gardening Pest Control Recipes


Beneficial Insects

Not all insects are pests so make sure to attract beneficial insects to your garden. They feed on the garden pests or their larvae. Here is a list of a few beneficial insects:

  • Ladybugs. They love aphids, mites, whiteflies and scale. They are a great beneficial insect to have in your garden. Plant members of the daisy family (Compositae), tansy or yarrow.
  • Lacewings. Another beneficial insect that loves aphids. Their larva also eat aphids and other insect pests. They are attracted to flowers such as yarrow, asters and goldenrod.
  • Praying Mantis. These large insects are cool to have in your garden. They are a general predator so will eat a variety of garden pests.
  • Hoverflies or flower flies. They look similar to a wasp but are a true fly (Diptera). These beneficial insects also love aphids and other insect pests. They are also attracted to ‘composite’ flowers such as yarrow, goldenrod and asters.


Organic Gardening Pest Control Recipes

Organic Gardening Pest Control Recipes

Organic Gardening Pest Control Recipes

Homemade Oil Insecticide Spray

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tbsp. mild liquid soap

1 L water

Mix the 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of soap. Shake thoroughly. Keep this solution in a separate container and use when needed. In a spray bottle, mix 1 litre of water with 2 teaspoons of the oil spray mix. Shake thoroughly. Spray directly on the plant surfaces being affected. The oil coats the bodies of the insects so they are unable to breathe. This causes them to suffocate. This insecticide spray is great for soft-bodied insects such as mites, aphids and mealybugs. Best to apply in the early morning or evening.


Natural Soap Insecticide Spray

1 ½ tsp. mild liquid soap

1 L water

This homemade spray is very similar to the recipe above. You can also purchase ready-made Safer Soap concentrate. Spray the mixture directly on the plant surfaces being affected. Best to apply in the early morning or evening. This insecticide spray controls mites, aphids, whiteflies, beetles, mealybugs and other insects.


Neem Oil Insecticide

2 tsp. neem oil

1 tsp. mild liquid soap

1 L water

Shake thoroughly. Spray affected plant areas. You can also use neem oil as a preventative measure. Spray areas usually ravaged by garden pests before they are infested. Neem oil can be purchased from any organic or natural food market or garden store. It is biodegradable and nontoxic to pets, birds and other wildlife. It is a very effective natural insecticide capable of disrupting the life cycle of insects at all stages (adult, larvae, and egg). It acts as a hormone disruptor. Neem oil is also a great natural fungicide.


Diatomaceous Earth as a Natural Pesticide

Diatomaceous earth is available at garden centers in large bags. It has a number of uses around the home. It does not poison or suffocate insects. Its abrasive qualities and affinity for absorbing lipids secreted from the exoskeleton of insects’ causes them to dehydrate.

To apply, simply dust the ground around your plants with diatomaceous earth. This will help control crawling insects such as snails and slugs. Diatomaceous earth needs to be reapplied after every rain.


Organic Gardening Pest Control Recipes
Organic Gardening Pest Control Recipes


Baking Soda Solution as a Natural Fungicide/Powdery Mildew

½ tbsp. baking soda

1 L water

Mix in a spray bottle and shake thoroughly.  Spray affected plant areas. Repeat this process every few days until problem ceases. This solution can also be used as a preventative treatment.


Milky Water Solution for Powdery Mildew

½ L milk

½ L water

Mix equal parts milk and water. Shake thoroughly. Spray on infected plants. Three treatments a week apart should control the disease.


Garlic Chile or Hot Pepper Insecticide Spray

2 – 4 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp. Chile pepper powder or 4 hot peppers

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tbsp. mild liquid soap

2-3 cups hot water



Put garlic, peppers or Chile pepper powder, soap and water in a blender and blend on high for several minutes. Leave overnight for at least 12 hours to intensify the effects of the garlic and peppers. Pour through a strainer. Mix 3 tbsp. of the mixture with 1 L water in a spray bottle. Shake well. Spray directly on affected plant areas. Make sure to wear gloves!! Keep away from eyes, nose and mouth. Can also be used as a preventative measure.


There are other ways to control garden pests such as using traps, barriers and companion planting. Old-fashion fly-paper is effective in controlling aphids and whiteflies. Some plants when grown together help deter pests naturally such as basil and tomatoes (repel mosquitoes), chamomile with members of the Brassica family, and catnip planted near squash and cucumbers (repels squash bugs and aphids).


Other natural and organic ways to repel garden pests:

  • Use chalk dust if you have an ant problem. Sprinkle crushed-up chalk around ant hills.
  • Crushed eggshells to deter slugs and beetles.
  • Sprinkle baby powder on plant leaves to control Japanese Beetles. It leaves an undesirable taste and smell.
  • Soak rags with white vinegar and place them near your garden to prevent rabbits, raccoons and cats from digging and ruining your plants.
  • Apply petroleum jelly around the tops of your planters to create a slippery barrier for hungry slugs.
  • Tying strips of chip bags with reflective interior to garden stakes to deter birds from eating berries in your garden.


One thing to keep in mind is that killing off all the garden pests in your garden is not the desired result. A healthy ecosystem requires beneficial insects, microbes and fungi. Attracting beneficial insects, creating good habitat for them, and building healthy fertile soil can be an effective natural garden pest management system.

There are also natural pesticides and insecticides available to purchase at garden centers such as Bt, milky spore and iron phosphate. The above organic gardening pest control recipes is a great starting point. You may find you need to modify the above recipes depending on your insect problems.


Happy gardening!!

Much love,



2 thoughts on “Organic Gardening Pest Control Recipes”

    1. I love that these recipes use products almost everyone has in their house already. And so easy to make 🙂 Let me know which recipes you try and your success with them. Cheers, Susan

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