Having pests in your garden or lawn can be a huge nuisance. However, conventional pesticide is far from eco-friendly. It can pollute the air, damage plants, and contaminate water supplies. Luckily, you can create your own eco-friendly pesticide from household ingredients or from other insects. Here are ten of the best natural, environmentally-friendly methods to keep pests under control, courtest of San Diego Patio Productions:
You can get rid of insects like aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites with cooking oil by combining about a tablespoon of dish soap with a cup of oil. Add four tablespoons of this mixture with one pint of water. About once a week, you can spray this onto your vegetable plants. You can also combine mineral oil, citrus oil, or eucalyptus oil with water to make a pesticide spray.
With a mixture of one tablespoon of red pepper powder, six drops of dish soap, and a gallon of water, you can make a spray that will protect vegetable plants from beetles, spittlebugs, and other pests. You should spray this thoroughly on your plants about once a week.
Garlic can keep pests away from gardens because of its strong smell. Blend together a dozen cloves of garlic and a quart of water and let it settle for a day. Then, you can filter it through a cheesecloth and and add a cup of oil. Spraying this mixture over your garden every week or two will keep common pests away.
A saltwater spray is especially effective at getting rid of spider mites. Combine about two tablespoons of Himalayan Crystal Salt and a gallon of warm water and spray it on any outdoor areas infested with spider mites or other pests.
You can make a homemade pesticide spray by mixing two tablespoons of baby shampoo with a gallon of water. Spray this over your vegetable garden, let it sit for a few hours, and rinse it off with a hose. This can get rid of a variety of pests, including aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies.
Neem is a plant found throughout India that has been used as an insect repellent since ancient times. You can either buy it or make your own neem oil spray by combining half an ounce of neem oil, half a teaspoon of liquid soap, and a gallon of water. Spray the mixture over your garden immediately after creating it.
By mixing a cup of organic tobacco with a gallon of water, you can make a tobacco spray to get rid of caterpillars and aphids. Let the mixture settle for about a day, and if needed, add more water until it becomes a light brown color. You can use this on all outdoor plants except nightshade plants like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
In addition to using natural spices, plants, and oils as pesticides, you can use other insects to keep garden pests under control. Lacewings eat aphids and other pests and are attracted to flowers like goldenrod and black-eyed susans. You can either purchase them or attract them to your garden with these flowers.
You can attract ladybugs to your garden with flowers in the daisy family, or you can purchase them. Ladybugs will help you control mites, aphids, whiteflies, and scale in your plants.
Praying mantises consume most common pests. You can buy praying mantis eggs online or through a catalog and place them in your garden where they will hatch and grow quickly. One egg case has about 200 baby praying mantises. Use one egg case for every 1,500 square feet.