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These natural and DIY insecticides are effective in helping rid your crops of harmful critters, but are safe enough to prevent you and your family from being poisoned.
There is nothing like having a garden at home so that you begin to appreciate the trials and tribulations of the farmers who grow our food. Between the weather, weeds, and insects, not to mention the challenges of soil fertility, it can be an incredibly humbling experience trying to put food on the table with a home garden, especially when adhering to organic protocols that don't rely on speed. Potentially harmful solutions, such as conventional herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. We've previously written about homemade herbicides, which can help you control noxious or invasive weeds without as much labor as manual disposal, and this time around, we're targeting insect pests, which have the potential to become your old and lush Garden your own all-you-can-eat insect buffet.
When it comes to keeping your crops healthy in the face of huge numbers of plant-eating insect insects, there are a number of approaches that can help turn the tide in favor of your own crops, and while removing insects by hand is a must. once. proven method, it can also be incredibly challenging to do, or it can be too little too late. Another method, much less time-intensive, of eliminating insect populations is through the application of natural or homemade insecticides, which can reduce their number or eliminate them all. Not all insects are harmful, so indiscriminate application of insecticides, especially strong pesticides that affect even beneficial insects, can have a detrimental effect on the ecosystem of your local garden.
[N.B .: Just because these are 'natural' or homemade insecticides, that doesn't mean they can't harm your soil, your garden or your person. An insecticide is defined as "a substance used to kill insects" and as such has the potential to "significantly alter ecosystems" and can be toxic to humans and other animals, therefore, before removing any pesticides or insecticides , you should be sure to do your homework and choose the most effective and least harmful option (for you and your garden).]
8 Natural and homemade insecticides
1. Oil spray insecticide.
A homemade insecticide made from vegetable oil mixed with a mild soap (such as Dr. Bronners' castile soap) can have a devastating effect on certain annoying insects, such as aphids, mites, thrips, etc. To make a basic insecticide spray, mix 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of soap (cover and shake well), and then, when ready to apply, add 2 teaspoons of the spray oil mixture with 1 liter of water , shake well, and spray directly on plant surfaces that are being affected by small pests. The oil coats the bodies of insects and effectively suffocates them by blocking the pores through which they breathe.
2. Insecticide spray soap.
A homemade pesticide very similar to oil spray is a soap spray, which is also effective in controlling mites, aphids, whiteflies, beetles, and other small hungry insects. To make a basic soap spray insecticide, mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of a mild liquid soap (such as castile soap) with 1 liter of water and spray the mixture directly on infected plant surfaces. A soap spray insecticide works in a similar way to an oil spray pesticide, and can be applied as needed (although it is always recommended NOT to apply it during the hot and sunny part of the day, but in the evenings or in the morning) .
3. Neem oil insecticide
An oil extracted from the seeds of the neem tree is a powerful natural insecticide, capable of interrupting the life cycle of insects at all stages (adult, larvae, and eggs), making it a great resource for the organic gardener. . Neem oil acts as a hormone disruptor and as an "antifeedant" for insects that feed on leaves and other parts of plants. Neem oil is biodegradable and non-toxic to pets, birds, fish and other wildlife, and is effective against a variety of common garden insect pests, as well as being a natural fungicide that can combat powdery mildew and other infections fungal in plants. It can be found in many garden stores or health food markets. To use neem oil as an insecticide, follow the directions on the bottle or start with a basic mixture of 2 teaspoons of neem oil and 1 teaspoon of mild liquid soap, shake it well with 1 liter of water, and then spray the affected plant. foilage Neem oil can also be used preventively by spraying the leaves of plants that are often assaulted by pests, before they are actually infested.
4. Diatomaceous earth as a natural pesticide.
This natural substance with a somewhat unwieldy name is made from a sedimentary rock created by fossilized algae (diatoms), and which is a fairly abundant resource (diatomaceous earth is said to make up 26% of the earth's crust by weight ). Diatomaceous earth has various uses in and around the home, and acting as a natural insecticide is just one of them. This material works not by poisoning or suffocating insects, but by virtue of its abrasive qualities and its affinity for absorbing lipids (a waxy substance) from the exoskeleton of insects, which then dehydrates them to death. Diatomaceous earth is often available at garden stores, though often only in large bags, so if you have a small yard, consider dividing it up with a neighbor. To apply, simply sprinkle the soil around your plants, or even spray it on the foliage, where it will help control snails and slugs, as well as other crawling insects. Due to its dry nature, to be an effective natural pesticide, diatomaceous earth must be reapplied after each rain.
5. Garlic insecticide spray.
Garlic is well known for its pungent aroma, which is delicious to some and repellent to others, and it is this strong aroma that comes into play when used as a natural insecticide. It's actually not really clear if garlic spray and chili spray (below) are actually insecticides or are more likely bug repellants, but either way, these common kitchen ingredients can be used to knock down or even Eliminate insect infestations in the garden. To make a basic garlic spray, take 2 whole bulbs (not just 2 cloves) and puree them in a blender or food processor with a small amount of water. Liter of water. Let the mixture sit overnight, then strain into a quart jar, add 1/2 cup vegetable oil (optional), 1 teaspoon mild liquid soap, and enough water to fill the jar. To use this homemade insecticide, use 1 cup of mixture with 1 liter of water and spray liberally on the infested plants.
6. Chili pepper insecticide spray
Similar to garlic spray, chili spray is an excellent natural homemade insect repellent that can be used for a variety of different pests. Chili spray can be made from fresh hot peppers or chili powder. To make a basic chili pepper spray from powdered pepper, mix 1 tablespoon of chili powder with 1 quart of water and several drops of mild liquid soap. This mixture can be used in full force on the leaves of affected plants. To make chili spray from fresh chili peppers, mix or puree 1/2 cup bell peppers with 1 cup of water, then add 1 quart of water and bring to a boil. Let sit until cool, then strain the chili material, add several drops of liquid soap, and spray as desired. [Caution: Hot peppers can also be very potent for humans, so be sure to wear gloves when handling them and keep any aerosols that have been made away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.]
7. All-in-one homemade insecticide spray.
From the folks at Rodale’s Organic Life comes this all-in-one DIY natural insecticide, said to be a combination of many different recipes submitted by readers. To do this, puree 1 garlic bulb and 1 small onion, add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder and let it steep for an hour. Strain the mixture and add 1 tablespoon of liquid soap and mix well. To apply this homemade insecticide, spray it vigorously on the upper surface of the leaves, as well as the lower part, and store the rest in the refrigerator for a week, if desired.
8. Tomato leaf as a natural insecticide.
I must admit this is new to me, but I've seen enough mentions of it to justify its inclusion here as a natural pesticide. Tomato plants are part of the night hats family, and as such contain alkaloids like the aptly named "tomatine" that can effectively control aphids and other insects. To make a tomato leaf spray for a natural insecticide, cut 2 cups of fresh tomato leaves (which can be taken from the bottom of the plant) in 1 liter of water and let it steep overnight. Strain the plant material and spray it on the foliage of the plant.
Do, use and observe, then modify
Although there are many more natural pesticides available, such as Bt (a soil microbe toxic to certain insects), milky spore (also a microbe), nicotine (extracted as a tea from bulk tobacco), pyrethrum (derived from a variety of daisies) AND iron phosphate (a naturally occurring mineral toxic to slugs and snails), the natural and homemade insecticide recipes mentioned above should give you a good starting point to create your own version. Each organic gardener seems to have their own particular mix and ratio of ingredients, so by paying close attention to the effects of a specific recipe, it is possible to modify it to better suit your own insect battles.
Just remember, killing all the insects in your garden is not the desired result here, as any healthy ecosystem requires a large number of beneficial insects, microbes, and fungi, both in the soil and the plants themselves, so introducing others Predatory insects (ladybugs, praying mantises, etc.) or creating good habitat for them, as well as soil fertility, can also be an effective approach to pest control.
Derek Markham. Article in English