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Organic Pest Control Recipes

Mary Smith |



In 2007 it was estimated that there are over 3 billion pounds of poisons and insecticides manufactured in the United State each year
for home and garden use.

Pesticide use in agriculture is down slightly, from 948 million pounds in 2000 to 877 million pounds in 2007. But that's only about 1% per year, and still close to a billion pounds of toxic chemicals intentionally introduced into the environment and our food supply each year.

These are a major threat to groundwater in every state and the problem keeps growing! It's also a major health concern.


More than 3.4 million people suffer from medically related side effects from the use of pesticides. Some of the immediate side effects include dizziness, nausea, headaches, low energy and loss of memory. Tests and research has proven that many forms of cancer are caused by 65% of all the pesticides.  


The herbicide glyphosate has more than doubled in use, from 85-90 million pounds in 2001 to 180-185 million pounds in 2007. According to a report from the Organic Center, this increase is likely a reflection of the rising popularity of Monsanto's RoundUp Ready genetically modified cr8ops. (Glyphosate is the active ingredient of RoundUp.)



Today we have a few
DIY Recipes for Organic Pest Control

**Please remember that some (not all) organic sprays can harm beneficial insects. Just be cautious**

Organic Insecticidal Soap Spray

Option 1:
Add 1 tablespoon organic liquid castile soap
*I prefer Dr. Bronner's* to a spray bottle.  Fill with water and use on your garden every other day or as needed on "bad bugs"

Option 2:

Chop, grind, or liquefy one garlic bulb and one small onion.  

Add 1 teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper and mix with 1 quart of water.  

Steep 1 hour, strain through cheesecloth, then add 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap (I use Organic Dr. Bronner's) to the strained liquid; mix well.  

Spray your plants thoroughly, including leaf undersides.  

Store the mixture for up to 1 week in a labeled, covered container in the refrigerator.  


As we have said in previous articles:

Be careful of where and how you use these recipes.  Even organic pest control options can work on "good bugs" as well as "bad bugs."


Spray to Control Nematodes

Nematodes are tiny parasitic worms that live in your soil. If you've ever grown tomatoes and found that the leaves were beginning to yellow and fall off the plant, then you have a nematode problem. While some nematodes are actually good for your garden, most are not. This mixture can also be used to spray on your plants to control grasshoppers and caterpillars.

3 tablespoons of organic molasses

4 cups of water


Mix the molasses and water in a spray bottle and shake vigorously. Use warm water to help the molasses dissolve better.

Spray the "Molasses Tea" on your soil around your plants every couple of days to keep the nematodes away.  



NEEM Oil Spray


This recipe is for edible vegetables and fruit, but be sure to wash all produce before cooking/eating (you can also use this on non-edibles too).

1/2 an ounce of organic neem oil  

1 teaspoon of natural liquid soap (preferably organic like Dr. Bronners etc).

2 quarts of warm water

Spray bottle

Mix all ingredients in a jug, then transfer to the spray bottle. This homemade pesticide works best when used fresh, so use within 24 hour of mixing it up.

We've added Organic Neem Oil at
Mary's Heirloom Seeds to help you grow a healthy, organic garden!


About Neem Oil
A magnificent oil with numerous benefits for both therapeutic and medicinal use. Among other properties, this oil is anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. Used widely in creams, dental products, hair care products, and in gardens for natural pest control. Can be applied directly to the skin or included within skin care preparations that are designed specifically to treat problematic skin conditions. Our Neem oil is cold pressed from whole Neem tree nuts.
The oil has a half life of three to 22 days in soil but only 45 minutes to four days in water. It is nearly non-toxic to birds, fish, bees and wildlife, and studies have shown no cancer or other disease causing results from its use. This makes neem oil very safe to use if applied properly.
Neem oil fungicide is useful against fungi, mildews and rusts when applied in a 1 percent solution.
Apply neem oil only in indirect light or in the evening to avoid the product burning foliage and allow the preparation to seep into the plant. Also, do not use neem oil in extreme temperatures, either too hot or too cold. Avoid application to plants that are stressed due to drought or over watering.

There has been concern about the use of neem oil and bees. Most studies specify that if neem oil is used inappropriately, and in massive quantities, it can cause harm to small hives, but has no effect on medium to large hives. Additionally, since neem oil insecticide does not target bugs that do not chew on leaves, most beneficial insects, like butterflies and ladybugs, are considered safe.

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