How to Control Insects in the Garden using Household Remedies?

Garden Insect
Home-gardeners and some farmers are concerned about the effects of pesticides on human health and the environment. This is a valid fear, since many pesticides, herbicides and fungicides have proved to have long-term cancer causing effects and can pollute water-sources and air.

Fortunately, there are many household remedies that can help you to control pests without risking your health! Here are a few of these:

Chilli and garlic spray

Sounds yummy? Well, a lot of insects hate it! Use this spray to control sap-sucking insects such as aphids (Two Homemade Sprays for Fighting Aphids), whitefly and mealy bug. The garlic component, formulated as a concentrate is sold commercially to farmers as an insect-repellent: it slows the life-cycle of thrips, allowing for easier control and confuses egg-laying moths that can initiate caterpillar infestations. It may also kill certain species of caterpillar, especially when they are young.

How to make it:

Chop an average-sized garlic bulb together with six medium-sized, hot, chilli peppers such as Cayenne peppers.

Chop the garlic and chill very finely, or put through a blender.

Add two cups of hot, but not boiling, water and leave the mixture to steep for forty-eight hours.

Strain the liquid through a cloth to prevent blockage of spray bottle nozzles and a tablespoonful of ordinary dishwashing liquid.

Stir and place in a glass or plastic jar with a plastic lid.

How to apply it

Mix two tablespoons of the concentrate you have made with one litre of water and apply to infected plants using a hand spray bottle or other spray equipment. Re-apply every three days until you are sure all the insects are dead. Then give one last spray for good measure!


Never spray in the heat of the day and do not apply this mixture young seedlings and delicate plants without testing on a single leaf or plant first. This mixture can burn plant tissue.

Just Soapy water

A lot of gardeners have experienced good results on soft-bodied, small insects like aphids by simply spraying a solution of soapy water onto the plants. Use a gentle dishwashing liquid and mix one teaspoonful of dishwashing liquid to one litre of water.


Some detergents may be harmful to plants, so test on a small area first! Wait for three days and see if there is any damage. As with the chilli and garlic recipe, one should not apply this in the heat of the day as it increases the risk of burning.

There are several commercial insecticidal soaps on the market, and these are more predictable, but the same precautions apply.

Beer or Honey and yeast

This a sovereign remedy for snails. Use stale beer or boil up some honey and yeast in water, pour this into saucers or plastic containers sunk into the ground here and there in your garden. Snails have a sharp sense of smell, and will be attracted to the yeast smell. They fall into the containers and simply drown!

Pick insects off with your hands

This one's a bit of a no-brainer but it should be mentioned. One caterpillar doesn't make an infestation. Check the plants carefully and remove larger pests like caterpillars, smails and slugs by hand!

Other remedies and repellants

A tea made of any combination of strong-smelling herbs or weeds often helps to repel insects. Apply weekly.

There are many more home remedies, and there are commercial preparations based on useful and safe concentrates like Neem tree, dilute vegetable oils and other organic remedies with which one can control pests.

Eat healthy, pesticide residue-free food and stay well! Remember: growing your own food is like minting your own money except that it's legal!

Recommended Resources

Westland Earth Matters Ready to Use Natural Insecticide 1 Litre: 100% Natural spray made from Pyrethrum flowers and useful to control insects like whitefly, greenfly, caterpillars, blackfly, aphids and more.

Written by : Andrea Durrheim, South Africa

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice