All-Purpose Insect Pest Spray

A homemade spray for all-purpose garden pest control.

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spray bottleThis all-purpose garden insect pest control spray combines the repellent effects of garlic, onion, and hot pepper with the insecticidal properties of soap.

For decades the editors of Organic Gardening magazine have collected pest-control remedies and recipes from readers. Several ideas were repeatedly offered as safe, effective insect controls. The editors combined several of these home remedies to make an all-purpose spray out of ingredients found in most kitchens. This spray combines the repellent effects of garlic, onion, and hot pepper with the insecticidal and surfactant properties of soap. Keep in mind that sprays that contain soap may harm natural enemies and pollinating insects. Apply it only to prevent or ease a specific pest problem.

Nowadays, there are also commercial organic sprays that list garlic oil and/or hot pepper as the active ingredient.

Protection Offered
Home gardeners can try homemade all-purpose spray against any leaf-eating pests in the garden, and make a note of what pests are successfully controlled. Certified organic producers should check regulations before using this type of homemade spray.

Precautions
The ingredients can cause painful skin and eye irritation. When preparing and applying, wear rubber gloves and keep the mixture well away from your eyes and nose.

How to Use

  • Chop, grind, or liquefy one garlic bulb and one small onion.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper and mix with 1 quart of water.
  • Steep 1 hour, strain through cheesecloth, then add 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap to the strained liquid; mix well.
  • Spray your plants thoroughly, including leaf undersides.
  • Store the mixture for up to 1 week in a labeled, covered container in the refrigerator.

 

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