Chemical Pesticides and Insecticides are the only toxic substances we purposefully discharge into our environment in order to kill living things.
Using chemical pesticides and insecticides not only affect the intended target but also have a side effect on humans causing headaches, sickness, endocrine interruption and neurological issues.
Chemical pesticides and insecticides are dangerous to the environment as well – they harm our water supplies, soil and kill off our pollinators, the valuable honey bees.
However, we need not necessarily use the chemical fertilizers; instead, there are various natural substances that go about as organic pesticides and insecticides. Here are some of the best:
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Garlic Spray – Organic Pesticide and Insecticide
Garlic has been used as an organic pesticide and insecticide for centuries because it has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties.
Making Garlic pesticide is cost-effective and easy. Peel and crush the cloves from five bulbs of garlic and mix them 17 oz of water. Allow to soak for five to six hours and add a dash of natural soap before passing the mixture through a fine strainer. Dilute this liquid with a gallon of water and decant into a spray bottle. Apply this mix on your plants once or twice a week – mixing up on a fresh batch weekly – for best results and avoid using it close to harvest time as it may affect the food flavors.
Garlic is a broad-spectrum pesticide, which will kill all insects it comes into contact with including the beneficial bugs, hence only spray the plant parts that are infested.
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Neem Oil Spray – Organic Pesticide and Insecticide
Neem oil is produced by pressing the fruits and seeds of the Neem tree. It is an organic pesticide, insect repellent and medicinal herb that has a bitter taste and garlic odor. It has no side-effects on birds, mammals, bees and plants.
Neem oil is known to be effective against over 200 species of chewing or sucking insects! It also fights fungi, mildews and rusts.
Neem oil spray is most useful when applied to young plants where it can act for up to 22 days. However, rain will wash the oil away, rendering it ineffective.
To make a batch, mix a teaspoon of pure, cold pressed neem oil with a half teaspoon of soap and quart of warm water. Spray this mix to all parts of the plant. If you feel you need stronger solutions, you can add in another teaspoon of neem oil to the blend.
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Epsom Salt – Organic Pesticide
Epsom salt has many great uses, pest deterrent and pesticide is one among them. Spraying and sprinkling are two of the most effective ways of using these magnesium rich salts to combat bugs.
To make an Epsom salt spray, dissolve one cup of the salts in five gallons of water. Decant into a spray bottle and apply to the affected plants. This will work to burn slugs and beetles, ensuring they keep their distance.
An easier option is to simply sprinkle the salts around the base of your plants, reapplying every other week. This will not only deter pests, but will also increase nutrition absorption, as magnesium helps plant roots take up vital nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur.
White Oil Spray – Organic Insecticide
Simple and easy to prepare but an effective spray, made using just two ingredients, – soap and oil. It works by coating soft body insects, like aphids and mites, in oil. The added soap helps the oil stick to the bugs.
To prepare, just mix a cup of vegetable oil with a quarter cup of liquid soap, and shake until it turns white in color – hence its name! This needs to be diluted before using. When you want to apply, mix one tablespoon of this mixture with four cups of water. Apply this spray every five to seven days for better results.
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Citrus – Organic Insecticide
This fresh-scented lemon pesticide is especially useful if your garden is inundated with aphids. To Prepare, simply bring a pint of water to the boil. Meanwhile, grate the rind from one lemon. Once the water is boiling, remove it from the heat and add the lemon rind. Allow to steep overnight before straining the liquid through a cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve. Pour this clear liquid into a spray bottle and apply to the top and underside of the leaves of the affected plant.
Note that the mixture must come into contact with the insects’ bodies to be effective.