24 Organic Pest Control that Will Make Your Garden Healthy and Pest-Free Right Now

Starting up a new garden is easy.

But, just like anything else, the maintenance part is the most trivial one. Sooner or later, you will encounter challenges.

One of the most common problems in a garden would be pests; but worry not because I have created the best organic pest control list for you.​

​Although there are so many choices for pest control available on the market these days, I would like to acknowledge that not all products out there are relatively safe for your plants. Having a list of natural home pest control is essential.

Trust me on this; it will not only be for your vegetation. It will also safeguard the health of your family or those people and animals that will eat your produce. Now tell me, would you want to have a pest-free garden that grows poisonous fruits and vegetables? I bet not.

Trust me on this; it will not only be for your vegetation. It will also safeguard the health of your family or those people and animals that will eat your produce. Now tell me, would you want to have a pest-free garden that grows poisonous fruits and vegetables? I bet not.

The Top 4 Organic Pest Control

The first four are specifically exceptional because they are considered power foods by people who are highly health conscious. Can you just imagine sharing your food with your plants? These four edible items will not only help you achieve the body and wellness you desire, it can also safeguard your garden.

On top of that, when I suggested these four items to friends and colleagues, they would often feel surprised.

#1. Squeeze the Leaves of Papaya to Get Rid of Small Pests

Papaya is a popular fruit when it comes to cleaning your digestive system. But did you know that the extracts of the papaya leaves are a perfect natural pest control for gardens?

A study on Carica Papaya’s Leaves shows that the substances it contains such as Vitamins A, B1, C, Charcoal hydrate, calcium, phosphorus, iron, papayotin kautsyuk, and the likes can combat caterpillars. The specific active ingredient in the papaya leaves known as Papain makes it super effective.

The solution can not only shoo caterpillars, it can also prevent the presence of aphids, termites, and other small insects.

But that is not all; it can also serve as a collector of crop pests. They can successfully trap other pests like russet mites by attracting them after which, you could just easily remove them from your garden.​

How to Specifically Use it:

  • Prepare 1 kg of papaya leaves, 10 liters of water, 2 tbsp kerosene, 30 g detergent, and soft cloth for filtering
  • Mash the leaves until it is smooth
  • Add and mix the remaining products to the mashed leaves and let it sit overnight
  • Using the soft cloth, strain the solution to separate the leaves from the liquid
  • Put the extract to a pump sprayer

This is the first in our list because aside from acting as a pesticide, the extract weakens eggs, larvae and pupae development. It gets better because it can also prevent bacteria and other pathogens from growing. This protects your plants from certain diseases.

I’m not going to lie to you, the papaya leaves extract works slowly but surely. And it will be more efficient if you spray the solution routinely.

#2. Fungal Infection? Cornmeal Juice to the Rescue!

In the event where you notice your plants to develop signs and symptoms of fungal infection, one efficient thing you can do is to use cornmeal juice.​

A fungus is one of the pests gardener hate with passion. It can destroy the appearance of our plants. This pathogen can weaken them. Fungal infections can cause secondary plant diseases and can eventually kill our plants; wasting all our hard work and time.

Worry not because Cornmeal Juice has been professionally recommended to act as an effective fungicide.

Let me share with you important information I learned from the Complete Handbook of Howard Garrett, where he stated that cornmeal juice can treat different fungal diseases.​

How to Specifically Use it:

If you are growing roses, the presence of fungus can be manifested by dark spots with a yellow halo in the leaves. Spraying compost tea and cornmeal juice can solve this problem.

Sometimes, you can encounter fungal diseases during cold weathers too. St. Augustine grass is most vulnerable to this. It weakens the leaves, making them be easily pulled loose. The grass can grow small to large spots which weaken the turf. On occasions like this, you may apply 20 pounds of cornmeal for every 1,000 sq. ft of your soil.

Edible plants such as peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables can also be infected with fungus. In addition to that, ornamental plants can also develop a fungal infection. Using your best garden sprayer, spraying plants with cornmeal juice, compost tea and using cornmeal products to treat the soil is helpful.​

Using cornmeal juice can also be beneficial if you observe your plants wilting and turning yellow. Aside from that, if you notice your grass developing vertical spots that are grayish in color, use cornmeal as well.

You may also prepare 1 cup of cornmeal, soak it in 5 gallons of water for 1 hour, filter the solids and spray the liquid in the affected area. Some farmers prefer to drench the soil with this solution instead.

#3. Check this out: Milk as Your Next Favorite Garden Treatment

Taking care of cucumbers, crab apples, grapes, lilacs, squashes, roses, and phlox may be challenging because they are highly susceptible to powdery mildew – another fungal infection.

This is caused by Erysiphales fungus. They are airborne and at the same time, insects and water can carry them. They are white spots on the leaves of your plants. Appearing as harmful specks, they can silently chop off the lifeline of the leaf by interfering with photosynthesis.

Believe it or not, this technique has been used for decades already. A practice of making sprays made of 40% and 60% of milk and water respectively has been very successful in managing powdery mildews.

If you are a fan of sulfur and other synthetic chemicals, this concoction can be your alternative vegetable garden pest control.

You might be wondering how milk can be effective, right? Well, most scholars believe that the protein interaction with the rays of the sun turns out to emit certain antiseptic effects. This kills the fungi in the leaves by “burning” them without harming the part of the plant.

How to Specifically Use it:

I highly suggest for you to experiment with the dilution of your mix. Although the 40-60% proportion is widely used, some opt to utilize 10% milk, 90% water or 30% milk and 70% water.

It is a very wise idea to spray on sunny days particularly between 12 noon to 4 in the afternoon. You may spray once every two weeks to once a week.​

According to the article of Ms. Barbara Pleasant, the type of milk (skim, whole, non-fat or low-fat) does not have a big impact since we are after the protein after all.

It would be a very good investment to utilize organic milk for this. Just like for your body, premium nutrients can give you optimum wellness. This is according to another trusted gardener online.

Unfortunately, you have to be prepared for an unusual odor when using this. Some users are complaining about this, but since I do not spray it in shady areas, I do not observe any foul smell.​

#4. Trap that Japanese beetle with… a Banana

It is so common to hear my fellow gardener complain about the presence of Japanese beetles.

These Japanese beetles are so devastating. They multiply so fast and they can be seen everywhere! Such a nuisance! Japanese beetles destroy all types of plants. Hence, they can destroy the appearance of your landscapes too!

They feed on more than 300 plant species according to one informative article about Japanese beetle. These pests eat up leaves up until it is left with the toughest veins. The roots are also one of their food sources. When they target roots, they wreck up golf courses and parks.

How to Specifically Use it:

Using only 1 mashed banana, mix 2 cups water, half cup of sugar, half cup of wine and a half teaspoon of yeast. Let it sit in a covered container. Place it in an area highly exposed to sunlight for one whole day.

The aroma of the mixture will surely attract these dangerous insects. They will gather around and feed themselves and you can just simply

Sounds good right?

But here’s the deal: You have to learn how and where to properly place the trap or else you will suffer. Why? If you do not, you will actually attract and not trap more beetles. This natural pest-controlling method, therefore, needs expertise. But worry not as I will share important tricks.

First, you have to place the traps 1-2 inches away from the soil. Remember not to place them in infested plants. Also, you have to choose an area that is exposed to sun.

As for the maintenance, you have to replace your traps every year. Encourage other community members to use the trap so as to kill as much Japanese beetle as you can.

Let us talk about the most famous downside of using Japanese beetle traps: foul smell. The combination of fermenting banana and dead beetles sometimes discourages gardeners to use this organic pest control.​

Additional 20 Natural Pesticides for Home

These next items are more common ones. They can target numerous kinds of pests. You may notice that one insect or disease can be solved by multiple organic pest control. Please try the solution to a number of plants first and observe for 1 to 2 days before using it to the whole garden.

Also, bear in mind that the effectivity may depend on few conditions such as the characteristic of the soil, type of weather, and even method of application.

Although these may all be natural or organic, you may still need to wear something to protect you especially your eyes.

#1. One Cup of Tea for the Garden!

Recently, I published a blog entry about compost which also tackled the use of a compost tea. I specifically mentioned how you can improve your plants such as mums with it. The main purpose of the tea there is to act as fertilizer.

Compost tea, however, has been proven by many gardeners to successfully eliminate pests. Some of my friends would even attest that it can even solve mold problems. On top of that, it can also help prevent diseases on your foliage.​

To make this, you have to mix your compost with water. Just like the teas you are drinking, you have to undergo the same process of letting it sit and filtering it. After all of the said procedure, you will then have to collect the liquid and use it to spray on your floras.

#2. ​Aphids No More, Thank You Tomato!

It is clever to save some seeds and grow your own fruits. I have discussed in one of my recent blogs as well. This will come handy since you will learn today that you can use the leaves of tomatoes to get rid of pests like aphids.

This is a very easy homemade insecticide. You will just need 2 cups of tomato leaves (chopped), 2 cups of water and a strainer.

Combine the two ingredients and leave it for 24 hours. Separate the solids from the liquid using the strainer. Alternatively, feel free to make use of coffee filter if you do not have one. Put additional 2 cups of water to the extracted fluid.

Now all you have to do is to get your sprayer and target the stems of your plants. Do not forget to spray on the undersides of the leaves since this is where aphids usually hide.

Although this treatment is organic, it is still advisable for you to wash your tomato before eating it.

#3. Vitamin Citrus for Bugs!

If you are fond of eating oranges, you will be happy to know that you do not have to waste the peelings of it. Orange peels can help you get rid of soft-bodied bugs (aphids, fungus gnats, mealy bugs, and slugs). It can also help you do away with ants and roaches.

Check out my other blog to learn how to specifically kill red ants here.

Create your own by using fresh citrus peels or 1.5 teaspoons of dried citrus peels. In a container, pour 2 cups of boiling water on the orange peels. Leave the solution untouched for 24 hours. Pour the solution into a strainer to separate the peels.​

Pour the fluid into a sprayer and then add Castile Soap Drops. Spray directly on pests. You may also spray the solution to affected plants to shoo pests away.

#4. ​Garlic, Peppers, and Onion: Partners for Sauté, Partners for Garden

I believe every house would always have these ingredients. I was so glad the moment I learned about this method. Fighting off pests has never been so personal, I thought.

These natural pesticides for vegetable garden are perfect if you have problems with aphids, grasshoppers, thrips, and other insects that chew and suck your plants. This solution is recommended for roses, azaleas and of course, vegetable garden towers.

You will need 2 pieces of hot peppers, 1 large onion, a whole bulb of garlic, oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Whoops! Let me delete those last two ingredients. I got carried away; I thought I was on a cooking show.

Going back… Using a food processor, blend pepper, onion, and garlic with water until they are fully mashed. Transfer the mixture to another container and add 1 gallon of hot water. Let it sit for 24 hours. Strain and spray on plants.

#5. Apple Cider Vinegar Indeed has so Many Uses

After learning that I can increase my metabolism, speed up the process of weight loss and do lots of wonders for my body (internally and externally), Apple Cider Vinegar has been a part of my grocery list.

The wonders of ACV do not stop there. If you have issues with pests: ants, fruit flies, fungi, snails, and slugs, this next ingredient will probably be your next best friend.

You may use the vinegar purely or you can mix water to dilute it and lessen its acidity. In warding off ants, for example, you just have to spray vinegar and reapply after few days on the trail they made.

As for fruit flies, you will need more ingredients though. A cup of water, half cup of vinegar, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon of molasses to be exact. This time, you are not going to spray them, but put the solution inside a trap.

Fungal diseases? 3 tablespoons of ACV mixed with 4 liters of water is all you need for your roses. Alternatively, for other plants, you may mix 1 tablespoons of white vinegar with 2 liters of compost tea.

To control powdery mildew, aside from using milk, you can also spray a mixture of 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar combined with 2 liters of water to the plant.

Using a ratio of 1:1, mix vinegar with water. Use this solution to clean your gardening tools. All you have to do is to soak them, and the mixture will act as a disinfectant.

#6. Use Soap Spray and Say Goodbye to Insects

You might be wondering why I included this on our list. I am talking about naturally made soaps and not the one with chemical contents, not detergent soap, and not dish soap.

You can deal with problematic aphids, mites, bugs and other thrips with this solution. If you wanted specific ways on how to get rid of russet mites, please see my other blog post.

The scent does not really matter. What we are after is the fatty acid content of your soap. Avoid soaps with degreasers and moisturizers.

To create this natural pest control, add 5 tablespoons of soap in a gallon of water or 1 tablespoon of soap in a quart of water. Shake and spray. Some recommended types of soaps would be Thyme soap bars and Naptha soap.

Please be reminded to be careful in choosing a sprayer to use. Never use a sprayer previously containing herbicides or weed killers.

#7. DE: Diatomaceous Earth, Dehydrate Enemies

Unlike the other items listed on this list, diatomaceous earth does not sound edible but you can actually eat this bug killer.

There are two primary methods how this organic pest control works.

The first one is that it actually dehydrates the pest as it tries to remove the fats from the exoskeleton of the insects. This part helps the insect conserve moisture.​

Another is that when they actually consume the diatomaceous earth and its tiny particles will lodge into their digestive system. It does not only cause clogging, its sharp structure also causes the soft bodies of insects to be sliced as they move.

This insecticide is effective in killing ants, bed bugs, cockroach, fleas and house dust mites.

To use this, you have to simply sprinkle a dash of dry diatomaceous earth on the soil. Please reapply if the surface gets soaked in water (rain or dew). You may also apply DE directly to the newly hatched larvae of beetles and bugs.

#8. Tobacco is bad for Your Pests’ Health …too

The government has tried numerous ways on how to ward people off from using tobacco. I can just imagine insects conducting a meeting to talk about the damaging effects of tobacco on their lives (more like in the movie Ants or A Bugs Life... hahaha!).

Kidding aside, the nicotine, the same harmful content of cigar is the one that will kill the enemies. One who is using this pesticide should take extra precaution as too much spraying can kill beneficial insects in your garden too.

To make the nicotine spray, you must have 100 pieces of cigarette butts and 4 liters of water. Boil the butts in water, strain, and dilute with 2 parts of water. Spray on infected plants.

PS. This should not be an excuse for you to smoke 100 or even 1 stick!

Please take note: this is not advisable for edible parts of crops or any members of potato or tomato family.

Oils, Oils, Oils

There was a time when people only had bad notions about oils. They say they make you fat and it will just give you a heart attack. Good thing, people are now realizing that we should not be avoiding oils as long as it is taken in moderation.

People are also starting to appreciate its benefits and are discovering more and more uses of oil especially in the world of agriculture.

All gardeners should take precaution when using oils in plants for these reasons:

  • ​Not all plants can handle oil in their vascular systems, and
  • During summer, oil treated plants can get damaged as they will burn (much like the sunburn we get but of course, our skin is thicker and well-protected)

#1. Neem Oil Soil Drench Is a Powerful Insecticide and Fungicide

In the previous items, you may have predicted the next step: strain and spray. Neem oil can also be prepared that way but it also has a different tactic to get rid of unwanted insects.Let us talk about the spray first.

In making Neem sprays, you will need 1 teaspoon of high quality, cold pressed neem oil, 1-liter warm water and 1/3 teaspoon of detergent or insecticidal soap.

Mix warm water and soap then apply the oil slowly while vigorously stirring the mixture. You have to shake, shake, and shake and use the solution within eight hours. Spray the solution on leaves. If it is your first time and your garden is suffering from an infestation, feel free to drench all leaves and soil around the plant.

Now since we already talked about drenching, let me explain to you how it works.

Drenching the soil with these natural pesticides for herbs allows the plant to reabsorb it. This may take few days, but what it does is to directly harm the insects that feed on it. It affects the growth of the insects, its reproductive system and causes breathing problems.​

PRO TIP: do not spray at noon or in the evening so as not to kill helpful insects. Preferably, you should spray early mornings and late afternoons.

Check out this YouTube video I found:

​#2. Horticultural Oil Blocks the Airway of your Unwanted Visitors

Well, this seems to be the most challenging oil in the list. A huge populace of the populace is not really aware of what it is.

Horticultural oils are seasoned oils. We are aware that some plants bear flowers and fruits at a specified season only. Certain pests are attracted during a particular cycle of flowering.

This is why farmers started making use of oils for that certain dormant season or when the buds of the flowers are just beginning to flourish. Dormant oil targets to kill aphids, mites, and scales. They also made summer or all season oils which are applied to plants during growing season.

Horticultural oils have two ways to eradicate pests. First of all, it suffocates them. As you spray the oil to the insect, the oil goes to the spiracles (this serves as the mouth and nose). It then causes breathing problems as it blocks the airway.

Before teaching you how to make horticultural oil sprays, let me tell you tips to help your solution become highly effective.

Primarily, never use the oil during extreme temperatures. That would be freezing temperatures and if it is more than 100° F. It is also not recommended for you to use this pest control during high humidity. Do not spray horticultural oil during fall; and lastly, do not spray when the plant has been previously sprayed with insecticides that have Sulfur content. Check out the rationales behind these precautions here.

Now, to the moment you’ve been waiting for. Prepare 1 tablespoon of horticultural oil, 1 tablespoon of baking soda and a gallon of water. Shake and spray.

#3. Eucalyptus Oil

I have heard a number of gardener claims that they consider the Eucalyptus oil as the best insecticide for vegetable garden. I have no reservations for this. I grew up watching my grandparents using eucalyptus oil, my mother did the same, and I am not ashamed to say that I also have it at home!

Eucalyptus oil has been popular for its abundant functions. It serves as antiviral, antibacterial, expectorant, disinfectant, and an effective pain reliever.

Many households have this as a part of their medicinal cabinet. Mothers vouch that it gives significant relief in different health problems. It cleans multiple arrays of household items, it makes the house smells good and of course, and it gets rid of household and garden pests.

Focusing on our dear garden eucalyptus oil serves as an efficient acaricidal, insect repellent, herbicidal, and nematicidal according to one scholarly article. Hence, you should think twice about preparing your string trimmer head or weeder when you are dealing with stubborn growths.

It is so great because we can enjoy all of its functions so easily because eucalyptus oil is everywhere. You can even buy them in your nearest 24-hour convenient store.

When it comes to pest control, we can apply the oil in different ways. Humans may enjoy the scent of eucalyptus; however, this is not the case for ants and gnats. Because of the strong, sharp smell, they consider it to be hazardous.

To create a spray for this purpose, add ¼ teaspoon of eucalyptus oil to 1 cup water. Shake and spray. Reapply every three days.

Eucalyptus can also kill pests directly. This is particularly effective to aphids, earwigs, mites and whiteflies. The recipe for this spray is 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon eucalyptus oil and ½ teaspoon liquid hand dish detergent. Shake and spray directly. You can observe those abovementioned insects killed on contact.

#4. Suffocate those Pests with White Oil Spray

When aphids and mites are becoming very problematic and you do not know what to do, you can make one white oil spray to kill them all.

There’s not shooing here; the aim of this kind of spray is straight to the point: to suffocate and in the long run, kill the insect.

Aphids can cause the leaves of your plants to turn yellow. Aside from that, you can observe that the leaves are becoming deformed. You may also see some black sticky substances on different parts of the foliage. If there is too much presence of aphids, the plant dies.

They do not only feed on the plant, they also secrete honeydew which is a very sticky substance that is highly susceptible to mold formation. This will bring diseases to the plant. Unfortunately, some of the infections do not have a cure.

A cup white mineral oil diluted to a mixture of ¼ cup of detergent and 4 cups of water is what you need to prepare. Simply shake and spray directly on the insects.

How does white oil spray help eradicate pests, you may ask. Well, it is simple, as you spray the solution to soft-bodied insects; the oil will coat them entirely. Acting as a layer of plastic, the insects then cannot get their much-needed supply of oxygen. In turn, they will soon suffocate and die.

Unsure about what kind of pest is in your plant? Click here to identify your tiny white bugs in soil.

#5. Essential Oil Blends will help you Have Mosquito-Free Outdoor Fun

When I hear the term essential oils before, I would always think about meditation, aromatherapy, and massage. But when I started gardening, I think about no other than pesticides. It makes sense because people who love staying outdoors cannot fully relax when they are being frequently bitten by mosquitoes.

There are lots of options to choose from: Basil, Catnip, Cedar, Cedarwood, Cinnamon Oil, Citronella, Clove, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lemon Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary, Tea Tree, and Thyme.

I believe that parents should give their active children homemade insecticide for mosquitoes. Technically speaking, this solution is not only beneficial for young ones as older people can also acquire mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, chikungunya, and the Zika virus.

To create your own concoction, combine 2 ounces of boiled water, 1 ounce of witch hazel or vodka, and 60 drops of essential oils. Shake and then spray.Essential oils are not only for mosquitoes. They are also effective in eliminating fleas and ticks so feel free to spray on your dogs as well. Just make sure that you and your pets are not allergic to your chosen oil to prevent reactions.

Essential oils are not only for mosquitoes. They are also effective in eliminating fleas and ticks so feel free to spray on your dogs as well. Just make sure that you and your pets are not allergic to your chosen oil to prevent reactions.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural Home Pest Control

In today’s world, every one of us is expected to work hand in hand to save our mother earth. Using synthetic pesticides can be beneficial to our gardens. But the long-term effect is detrimental to all.

Using natural pest control methods is cheap. It can be made from easily accessible items. The ones you do not eat in vegetables can be turned into something useful just like orange peels. Even cigarette ends have its use here! If you are trying to live frugally, this is the way to go.

It does not cause plant toxicity. Although there are some reported cases in which the use of certain homemade pest control products resulted something bad, it is not as morbid as the effects of synthetic pesticides.

Another good reason is that different organic pesticides will not stimulate pests to develop immunity easily. Since they are natural, most pets would see it as a food source rather than an enemy. Hence, defending themselves from them would not even cross their mind.

In the same light, these insecticides made from natural sources can even attract beneficial insects. In return, it would help you grow a healthy garden by promoting bio-diversity. Special precaution should be taken, however, since some items on the list can also ward off beneficial insects if applied in large amounts.

On the other side, one of the common reasons why gardeners prefer pest control products that are not home-made is because they do not have time to carry out the steps of making natural pesticides. It is indeed time-consuming. You must also follow certain methods and measurements or else it would not be as effective as effective.

Synthetic ones also repel pests in a longer span of time and you do not have to re-apply as often as you do when you use natural insecticides.

Nonetheless, the benefits still outweigh these disadvantages that are why I highly support the use of organic products.

Conclusion

There is, indeed, a huge variety of popular list of organic pesticide. But it would always boil down to one question: which is the most suitable and effective one for me? I acknowledge that some people may vouch on one item’s perfection, but for others it may be completely useless.

Do not forget to follow highlighted tips and precautions so as not to commit detrimental mistakes. Remember, prevention is better than cure. Always test a small amount first so as not to regret in the end. Avoid wasting your effort, money, and time by conducting further research if you are in doubt.

Yes, I do advice for you to try them all and observe the results. This will allow you to understand your pests, plants, and soil better. This will allow you to analyze which homemade organic pest control to use.

However, I understand that not every one of us has the time to do that. Please comment below if you had any experience about any of the above-mentioned natural insect repellent for home. Kindly share with us additional tips as well.

Thank you, as always, for reading my blog. I hope you were able to discover your favorite organic pest control through this. Please do not forget to share the article with your friends and family!


Amelia
 

Amelia Robinson is a lover of plants and gardens, as well as an educator on this topic. It’s her goal to make sure that you get the chance to learn what you need to about gardening to succeed with your own home garden at the blog RobinsonLovePlants.com. You’re not going to find just a collection of basic articles about gardening here. Instead, she wants to answer the difficult questions for you. She tweets at @robinsonplants

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