Natural Pesticide: To Kill or Not To Kill

| 3/9/2009 5:16:37 PM

Tags: natural pesticide, garden, simple living,


Yep. I thought that title might get ya. That’s right, this entire post is about organic pesticides and the moral debate involved in using them (a.k.a. killing). It’s also got some charming garden pictures. How about that for confusing?


Before I give you the recipe and directions on making your own organic pesticides, know that they are not selective in their killing. So, by using them even the beneficial bugs die or vacate. This is actually a factor that I appreciate because it prevents me from going wild spraying my plants “just because.” I am forced to wait until I can’t find any beneficial insects/arachnids to combat the harmful insects. Also, when the only ones I find are Black Widows and… well… as technically beneficial as they might be: I want them dead. They may not linger on my innocent tomatoes and plot their evil spidery schemes. Not in my garden.


Let’s just take a moment to recognize the Technical Knock Out (TKO) that is in the picture above. Sigh. Check out the blush on that heirloom’s cheek, would ya? If that doesn’t make you want to plant a garden — only a glance at the prices in the produce section of the supermarket will.

Before mixing up the magic organic pesticide, be sure that you have surrounded your plant-babies with nature’s first defense: marigolds, orange peels, cedar chips, mint, geraniums, sage, and rosemary. These are natural pesticides which discourage those unwanted guests from lingering in your garden patch (to name a few: tomato hornworms, Japanese beetles, aphids, and others). Only, I mean ONLY, if these have failed to protect your food source may we resort to the use of sprays.

Natural pesticide ingredients

You will need an old sprayer, 4 Tbsp hot sauce, 1 head of fresh garlic, 1 tsp liquid dish soap, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, and 4 cups water.

Garlic, hot sauce and oil

Chop the garlic and pour the oil and hot sauce over top. Mix, cover, and let sit overnight. Strain out the garlic, then mix with water and add dish soap.

Natural pesticide in spray bottle

Fill up your sprayer and use sparingly.

Plat sprayed with natural pesticide

If you would like to find other homemade bug remedies, then please visit this site for some great ideas.  Comment on this post and enter to win a packet of sweet basil and a $10 gift certificate to Seeds of Change -- my favorite seed company of all time because... well, they just totally rock like KISS.
april hughes-spann
9/5/2013 9:14:27 PM

I want so much to keep my veggie garden organic. I have little green/white/yellow caterpillars eating my mustard greens. I have read that "neem" oil also helps get rid of the pests.

10/4/2010 2:05:25 PM

oh, thanks for the info. But I hope there will be to my place for my family.

1/24/2010 7:55:41 AM

It's amazing how well natural remedies work in the garden. Thank-you for a great recipe.

3/11/2009 11:57:38 AM

I made this last year and used them on our tomatoes. It worked pretty well, as long as I turned the leaves over and wet the worms there. I think the biggest thing that help us, was getting young worms picked off every day. We got a harvest of next to nothing, but it wasn't the bugs. :)

3/11/2009 11:47:21 AM

That is almost exactly the recipe we use! Sometimes we sprinkle red pepper. Another we use sparingly is bacillus thuringensis. It is considered organic. Have a great day.

julie muytoy
3/11/2009 10:46:23 AM

I am so happy to see that folks are using natural pesticides. Thank you for sharing this recipe with others so they may have a healthier garden.

3/11/2009 9:26:19 AM

Wow! What a concoction. I that would certainly deter me if I were a little critter :) Thank you so much for posting this organic recipe. Just in time for everyone's Spring plantings!

julie at elisharose
3/10/2009 10:39:38 PM

Cool. Thanks! I'm trying hanging my tomatoes upside down this year. Maybe the hornworms won't find them. One can hope.

3/10/2009 9:37:00 PM

Thank you so much for this awesome post! I will have to try that this year.

christy harrill
3/10/2009 7:40:58 PM

Thank you so much for sharing! I've made my own insecticidal soap but I can just imagine the addition of hot sauce and garlic is an added defense.

elizabeth massie
3/10/2009 7:29:05 PM

I haven't made my own but use a product from our local's made of oils from cinnamon, cotton seed, and rosemary. It doesn't repel Japanese beetles (does anything?) but works on other pests.

3/10/2009 5:39:26 PM

I need to make up some of that stuff for my gooseberries. Each year I plan to do it to get rid of the bugs that infest the berries and make them inedible, but every year, I am a bit too late.

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