2 homemade insecticides to keep pests at bay

You don't have to cope with creepy crawlers any longer — these DIY insecticides will do the trick.

2 homemade insecticides to keep pests at bay

Garlic insect treatment

  • When aphids, whiteflies and other insect pests become a problem in the garden or on your houseplants, don't rush to the market for an expensive spray.
  • Make your own from these kitchen-tested ingredients.
  • Store all garden treatments, such as this, in a capped and labelled bottle in a childproof cabinet.

What you need

  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable or mineral oil
  • 750 ml (3 c) hot water
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) dishwashing soap (not laundry or dishwasher detergent)What to do1. In a blender, puree the garlic, skin and all, and oil.

    2. Strain mixture through a sieve into a one litre (one quart) jar. Add water and dishwashing soap. Cap the jar and shake gently to mix.

    3. Decant the mixture into a spray bottle (you can clean and reuse a cleaning product spray bottle). Spray infested plants, making sure to cover both sides of the leaves. Apply every three days for a week to control hatching insect eggs. Repeat as needed after rains or when problems arise.

Alcohol insect treatment

  • Rubbing alcohol is a time-tested treatment for soft-bodied garden pest insects like aphids and mealybugs.
  • Traditionally, it was advised that you dab it onto individual insects with a cotton swab, but this is a time-consuming task. Try this speedy spritz instead.

What you need

  • 250 ml (1 c) rubbing alcohol
  • 250 ml (1 c) water

What to do

1. Combine the alcohol and water in a spray bottle and shake to combine.

2. Before treating, spray one leaf of the infested plant as a test to make sure there are no reactions, such as browning. If not, spray the entire plant, including undersides of leaves and flower buds. Avoid spraying open flowers, which may turn brown if treated with alcohol.

3. Repeat every other day for three days to kill hatchlings. Monitor plants and spray again as needed. Label the bottle and store it out of the reach of children and pets.

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