Pest Control and How to Make Your Own Natural Insect Spray

Potato Beetle

Having trouble with insects in your garden?

You’re not alone. It’s a big question that comes up in the organic gardening circles.

What do I do with ______?! comes the mournful cry…

Well, before we get into making an insect spray – there’s a few things of importance to note.

1. Pests are a symptom of a deeper problem

Believe it or not, healthy plants are actually resistant to insect pests. We’ve seen this first hand. We had a bed of spinach once where the soil was much richer on one end then on the other and it made a noticeable difference in the plants. The spinach in the end of the bed with the worse soil had smaller and more yellow leaves then the spinach not too far away which was thriving in the good soil.

And guess which ones the bugs attacked? You guessed it… the weaker spinach plants.

Think of it like your body. The more healthy you are – the more resistant to disease you are.

2. The risk of spraying: some insects are good

Guess what? Some insects actually kill of the bad guys. We have a wasp that comes in and infects our tomato horn worms. But if we got rid of the wasp… the tomato horn worms would flourish. On the other hand, when we keep both around nature balances itself out.

Another great example is when lady bugs eat aphids. Hmmm…. I kinda like these wasps and lady bugs…

When you choose to spray an insecticide in the garden you risk killing off not only the bad guys, but the good fellows as well. This means it is much easier for the bad guys to come back with a vengeance. The best option is to encourage a diversity of life in the garden

3. Hitting at the root of the problem

So, if pests are simply a symptom of a plant that isn’t at is prime health-wise, how do we go to the root of the problem? The number one thing you can do is to start improving your soil. Here is the foundation of the organic garden. It’s where your plants are taking up nutrients and water. Build a healthy soil and your garden will begin to thrive.

4. But my garden is WAY infected? What should I do now?!

Alright… so building up a healthy soil can take time and you’re in a crunch right now with pests taking over. What can you do?

I just came across this blog post over at Rodale’s Organic Life about making your own pest spray (hey, it claims to work on more than just insects). It’s a simple little recipe you can make from home.

Click here for how to make your own natural insect spray

A little disclaimer is that I’ve never tried it myself. But hey, they’ve been collecting pest control recipes for years and it may be worth trying in your garden – especially if you’re in a pinch.

On the other hand, I’ve heard that the pepper/garlic/onion deal doesn’t really do anything. Garden folklore they say. If anything, maybe the soap is what’s helping with your problems. Or maybe the pepper is to keep the deer away? Give it a try and let me know what you find out.

And here’s what Mother Earth News had to say about making your own insecticide:

Enjoy and let me know what’s worked for you in the comments!

4 Comments

  • catalin

    Reply Reply June 25, 2015

    interesting ! Very nice photos in video, friendly bugs at work ! I agree that take more time, more thinking…but i like very much to watch in nature after this (bug) things.

  • Debbie Cox

    Reply Reply August 26, 2015

    Commercial garlic spray Garlic Barrier worked well to keep worm off of our cabbage and broccoli.

    • Paul

      Reply Reply August 26, 2015

      Thanks for sharing your experience Debbie! That’s great!

  • Eddy Pest Control

    Reply Reply September 1, 2017

    Bronx Pest Control provides 24 hour pest control services to property owners in the Bronx. If you have a pest problem, day or night, we will be just one call away.http://bronxpestcontrol.net/

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