There are several homemade recipes to help deter pests from your garden. Like fungicide recipes, most pesticide ingredients are common household items. Most recipes can be applied weekly or every two weeks. It is best to apply any sprays in the early morning to allow the plants to dry before nightfall. Overuse of these can lead to adverse effects to the soil. Pest management usually requires multiple methods in order to keep pests at a manageable level. It should be noted that anytime you use a home mix, you should always test it out on a small portion of the plant first to make sure that it will not harm the plant.

Dish Soap Spray– Be sure to use a mild dish soap that has no bleach, degreaser or detergents added.  This spray works well for soft-bodied insects including aphids, whiteflies, thrips, and caterpillars. Vegetable oil is added to pesticides as it helps the mixture cling to the plant.


  • 2 Tablespoons Mild Dish Soap
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Gallon of water

Dissolve dish soap in the water and cover the whole plant including both sides of the leaves. This will need to be reapplied every 4-7 days or until pest population decreases. Spay plants with plain water to rinse off soapy residue after infestation is reduced. 

Garlic Spray– Garlic has many benefits including repelling pests. This spray works at repelling aphids, cabbage worms, leaf hoppers, squash bugs, and whiteflies.


  • 5-6 bulbs of garlic                                            
  •  1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon mild dish soap           
  • 1 gallon of water

Puree or crush the garlic. Add the garlic to 1 cup of water and allow it to sit overnight. Stain the liquid into a spray bottle and add the soap and oil to a gallon of water. Spray entire play once a week until infestation is decreased.

Hot Pepper Spray- This works for wildlife as well as insects. Use the hottest peppers you can find. You can substitute with fresh peppers if available. Use ½ cup chopped peppers and boil in 1 cup of water. Cool and strain mixture. Then follow directions listed below.  


  • 2 tablespoons dried hot pepper (chili, cayenne, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon mild soap
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 gallon of water

Mix ingredients and spray liberally on plants. Repeat once a week as needed. Be cautious of wind blowing when applying to avoid it blowing into your eyes. 


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