Our fully inclusive guide on the natural pesticide alternatives and home – made formulas you can use to deter pesticides from your garden.
Nowadays, more and more of us are turning towards natural living, not only for the sake our own health and well – being, but also for the sake of helping towards creating a healthy environment.
For example, it’s now more popular than ever for the average person to grow their own fruit and vegetables. This is to eliminate them having to buy plastic wrapped produce which has likely been treated with harmful pesticides and insecticides.
Nevertheless, keeping pests and insects away from your own produce is still an absolute must if you want to grow good quality fruit and veg, and even if you simply want to keep your flower beds happy and healthy.
So if you’re trying to sway away from pesticides which include harmful and toxic chemicals, how can you really keep pests and insects away?
Today, we’re going to be taking a look at the alternatives to pesticides that you can use.
What are the Best Methods to Getting Rid of Pests When Growing Your Own Produce?
Keeping your plants and produce healthy can be a difficult task, at times. Not only because of the pests and insects, but also because of other elements, such as weather and soil quality, which can have an enormous impact on how your lovely little projects grow.
Some people swear by simply removing insects by hand – however this is complex. Realistically, you can’t be there at all times to keep an eye on your plants, and furthermore if there is an infestation, you have no chance of successfully ridding of it with your bare hands. Some would consider this to be far too little, far too late.
Some people will simply use pesticides or insecticides – however, we wouldn’t always consider this to be the best method of ridding yourself of pests. This is because they often include harmful chemicals – not only to you if you’re eating the produce – but also to the surrounding wildlife and the produce itself in your garden.
Today, however, we’re going to be looking at the safer and more time – efficient method to ridding your produce and plants of pests and insects, and that is by creating natural and home – made alternative treatments to pesticides and insecticides to use on your outdoor growth.
Much of this is easy to do, it’s perfectly healthy for the environment, and it’s far less harmful to you and your natural surroundings than using chemical solutions.
Plus, it’s going to take you a lot less time, and be far more effective, than sitting removing bugs from plants by hand…
Remember that not all insects are harmful! Some are actually beneficial. By keeping things natural, you’re being far kinder to the overall ecosystem in your garden. Isn’t that far better than the other alternative?
Read on to find out some of our favourite home – made and natural alternatives to using pesticides in your outdoor space!
Our Favourite Natural and Home – Made Alternatives to Pesticides and Insecticides
We’re now going to be taking a further in – depth look at some of our favourite natural and home – made alternatives to using shop – bought pesticides and insecticides.
Oil Spray Pesticide / Insecticide Alternative
The first of these that we’re going to look at today, is the oil spray insecticide alternative.
The ingredients included in this insecticide alternative are very simple and include vegetable oil, as well as a mild soap. We would personally recommend using Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap for the best results.
This will be particularly effective on certain sorts of pests and insects, particularly those such as mites, aphids, thrips, and other similar critters.
A basic oil spray will be made easily by following the steps below:
- Mix one cup of vegetable oil with one cup of the recommended (or similar) soap.
- Then, cover and shake thoroughly.
- When it’s ready to apply, add two teaspoons of the solution (the oil spray) with a quarter part of water also.
- Shake this thoroughly and transfer into a spray bottle.
- And you’re ready to go! Spray the affected surfaces plants and produce generously.
The way that this oil spray works, is by coating the bodies of the insects who are causing damage to your plants. This effectively suffocates them by blocking the pores that they breathe through, without harming your plants.
Soap Spray Pesticide / Insecticide Alternative
Next up, we’re going to be taking a look at the soap spray insecticide alternative.
This is a very similar home made insecticide alternative to the above oil spray. This is also a good method of controlling aphids, mites and similar – but is also effective against whiteflies and beetles as well as other irritating insects.
The ingredients included in soap spray are very similar to those in oil spray, but instead of using oil, this very simply includes soap and water.
A basic soap spray will be made easily by following the steps below:
- Mix eleven and a half teaspoons of a mild liquid soap (we would recommend the same as mentioned above), with one quarter of water.
- Cover and shake.
- Transfer to a spray bottle.
- Spray generously on the surfaces of plants effected by insects.
The way it works is very similar to that of the oil spray, however one thing we would recommend doing when it comes to soap spray, is to use it in the evenings and early mornings, but NOT in the hottest, sunniest part of the day. This is how to get the best effects.
Neem Oil Pesticide / Insecticide Alternative
Next up, we have the neem oil insecticide alternative.
Neem oil is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree, and is readily available to purchase as a natural oil.
This oil in particular acts as a disruptor of hormones, or an “anti – feedant” to pesky insects that snack on leaves and other parts of produce. It’s entirely non – toxic to animals, and is also biodegradable. Great for those trying to go organic!
All you have to do to use it, is follow the instructions on the bottle. Alternatively, we would recommend mixing two teaspoons of neem oil with one teaspoon of liquid soap and quarter measure of water. Mix together, shake thoroughly, and spray on the effected plants.
This is a great preventative to be used on plants before they are actually infested.
Garlic Spray Pesticide / Insecticide Alternative
Next up we come to an ingredient which we are all likely to have readily available in our kitchen – garlic!
You’re probably well aware of the strength of the odour of garlic already. This is what comes into play in terms of effectiveness when it comes to deterring pests and insects from your plants.
Use a basic garlic spray by following the steps listed below:
- Use two whole bulbs – NOT cloves – and puree them in a food processor or good blender with a little bit of water.
- Let the mixture sit overnight.
- Strain the mixture into a jar, and add half a cup of vegetable oil, one teaspoon of mild liquid soap, then fill the jar to the top with water.
- Then, simply add one cup of mixture and one cup of water into a spray bottle, and spray generously on the affected areas.
Using Tomato Leaves as a Natural Pesticide Alternatives / Insecticide Alternatives
Last of all, but by no means least, we come to a fairly recent discovery in the world of natural pesticides and insecticides, in the form of the humble tomato leaf.
Tomato plants are part of what is known as the night shade family. Because of this, they contain alkaloids, which include “tomatine”. This has been proven to be effective in controlling aphids and other small insects.
To make an effective tomato leaf spray, all you need to do is to follow the instructions below:
- Firstly, chop up two cups of naturally grown tomato leaves. These are found at the bottom part of the plant.
- Mix this into one quarter measure of water.
- Leave it to steep overnight.
- Then, strain out the plant material so you are left with a liquid spray.
- Transfer this into a spray bottle, and you’re good to go!
This is a fantastic method to try, because you’re quite literally using the natural resources grown in your garden to protect each other effectively. You can sleep soundly in the knowledge that you’re using all natural produce, and not putting your plants – and beneficial wildlife at that – in danger of being killed off by harmful chemicals.
Thank you for reading today! We hope we have helped to open your eyes to the alternative – and less harmful – methods out there to pesticides and insecticides, many of which can be produced in the home for little to no cost, without causing any harm to your garden or the surrounding wild life.
Enjoy your pest – free gardening!
Frequently Asked Questions
The use of pesticides comes with a lot of disadvantages to the environment and health. Pesticides pollute the air, water, and soil and produce considerable damage to the ecosystems. Exposure to pesticides can cause poisoning, neurological and psychiatric complications, brain tumours, cancers, congenital disabilities, etc. It is detrimental to the immune system.
Yes, pests develop resistance to pesticides. The use of some pesticides contributes to the development of resistance among the target pests. Extensive use of the chemicals resulted in genetic modifications, which made the pests considerably difficult to control.
Natural alternatives to pesticides are assumed to be safer, healthier, and environmentally friendly compared to synthetic ones. However, some organic pesticides must be applied more frequently to get the desired control. Organic pesticides are less persistent and can be more selective than synthetics. Proper timing of pesticide applications is the key to control the pests effectively.
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