How to Make Homemade Insect Repellents

Natural fruit tree pest control starts with a flour-based repellent.
Natural fruit tree pest control starts with a flour-based repellent. (Image: Images)

Control insect pests in your garden with soaps and sprays concocted in your kitchen. Not every treatment will work for your garden so be prepared for trial and error. The effectiveness of natural pest control is not support by a body of scientific research, but science does tell us that pests avoid things that taste and smell bad and make them sick. Remember that even treatments made from kitchen or natural ingredients can harm beneficial insects or damage your plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Ivory soap
  • Spray bottles
  • Garlic
  • Paraffin
  • Flour
  • Buttermilk
  • Onion
  • Cayenne pepper

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Blend a spray to deter aphids by adding 2 tablespoons of liquid Ivory soap to 1 gallon of water. Mix thoroughly and put into a landscape sprayer or carefully pour into a spray bottle to use around plants with an aphid infestation problem.

Control slugs with a garlic solution. Soak 6 tablespoons chopped garlic and 2 teaspoons liquid paraffin in 1 pint of water. Add 1/4 cup liquid Ivory soap. Strain the mixture into a spray bottle.

Control pests on fruit trees by combining 5 pounds of white flour, 1 pint of buttermilk and 25 gallons of water. Strain ingredients into a landscape sprayer to mist onto the fruit trees to stave off bugs.

Make an all purpose garden spray by mixing 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 small chopped onion and 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper in 1 quart of water. Allow to soak for at least one hour. Right before use, add the liquid soap and strain into a sprayer.

Mix an all purpose hot pepper spray that's effective against soft-bodied insects. Steep 1 cup of ground hot pepper, 1 tablespoon of liquid Ivory soap and 1 quart of water for at least one day. Strain and pour the liquid into a sprayer or spray bottle.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pyrethrum is one of the basic ingredients in many bug sprays. There is a natural way to get pyrethrum to use around your house and garden. Take and plant some Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium (only this specific type will work). Wait until it has flower heads and dry them thoroughly. Now take the dried chrysanthemum flower heads and grind them up. This is a natural pyrethrum that you can either use dry to sprinkle on your plants or take and mix with water to make a spray to spray your plants. Dried flower heads can be saved for later to be ground when needed.
  • Even natural repellents and pesticides can kill beneficial insects as well as pests
  • Some natural ingredients can burn foliage. Test on a small area before spraying the garden.


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