The first year I had my very own garden I also had my very own garden pests and I had no clue what to do.
I don’t see the point in growing my own food if I’m just going to saturate it with chemical pesticides so obviously I needed to find natural pesticides that would be safe and effective.
I also wanted to find a solution that would be inexpensive and easy to find or make.
It can be used as a preventative spray but I wouldn’t do so without reason. If you don’t have any pests and don’t expect any then there’s no reason to prevent them.
However, if you often have trouble with pests because of small gardening space or not enough crop rotation then you may want to be proactive about controlling garden pests and natural pesticides are your best bet.
One thing to keep in mind is that even though this recipe is natural and made from food it will kill most insects, even the beneficial ones, so, don’t use it willy nilly, ya hear?
Garlic and pepper sprays have also been said to deter deer, moles, mice and other creatures from eating your garden.
Homemade garlic pepper spray
Remember: you are about to make pepper spray for natural pesticides. Yes, the kind of thing that makes the bad guys in movies cry on the floor. Be careful!
What you need:
- 1+ hot peppers (I used a jalapeno)
- 1/2+ of a bulb of garlic
- 1/2 of an onion
- hot pepper sauce, dried cayenne, hot pepper flakes, etc (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoons biodegradable dish soap (I like this one)
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- A mason jar
- A spray bottle
- plastic/vinyl gloves
My ingredients aren’t exact because they really don’t need to be. You simply want to get a poo ton of HOT peppers and garlic and mix them all together in the blender with just enough water so that it blends nicely. I used 1 jalapeno, 1/2 an onion and about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of homemade hot sauce. It was pretty old so I figured I’d just throw it in.
I’ve made a decent spray out of just dried cayenne and fresh garlic too.
I have to tell you, this is so. much. fun. to make. You feel like a mad scientist. “a tablespoon of hot sauce? Why not the whole bottle? Mwahhh!”
After you’re done blending transfer the hot pepper goop to a mason jar and add enough hot water to fill the jar (depending on how much goop you make you may need to use two jars). Let them sit overnight or for a few days for best results but you can use it the same day if you need to.
When the goop has sat for long enough strain it so that you only have the juice left. I used a piece of cotton fabric to squeeze the juice out of the goop and a funnel to get the juice in the spray bottle. I also covered my hands in plastic sandwich bags because I didn’t have any gloves. It worked but I definitely recommend gloves if you can get ’em and I definitely DON’T recommend using your bare hands.
My mason jar of goop yielded this much pepper spray:
I ended up filling it the rest of the way with water because, from the smell, it was plenty strong enough (my tongue was burning just from the smell!)
Then add the dish soap and olive oil which helps the spray stick to the plants leaves, shake and you’re ready to go!
How to use your homemade natural pesticide
Spray your plants in the evening after they’ve been able to dry in the sun al day and before insects come out at night to eat. Pay special attention to the underside of the leaves since bugs like to hang out and lay eggs there. You will need to reapply every few days or after it rains.