DIY Pesticides for Your Garden: Non-Toxic Pest Control

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diy pesticides for the garden

Pesticides: Bad for bugs, bad for us.

In this Green Divas in the Garden episode, I offer some great tips for keeping garden pests under control without chemicals. Listen up, then read on for more details…

So let’s start by saying applying pesticides that are designed to make bug’s stomachs explode are bad for humans too.

Since you, your kids and your pets live and play in the garden or eat the veggies and fruit that come out of it, let’s not ingest anything that will give you cancer. Now that we are agreed, let’s keep those bugs at bay the natural way!

Awesome and easy DIY pesticides

One tablespoon of castile soap in a spray bottle (about 750 ml or 25 oz.) will work for most things. For an added punch, add 10 drops of any citrus oil as this also helps it to stick to the plants better.

Got stubborn borers, Japanese Beetles, or leafhoppers? Add chili powder (cayenne pepper works too) and a bunch of crushed garlic to the recipe above and you are good to go!

[Read: Can Bug Sex Chemicals Replace Toxic Pesticides?]

Java is where it’s at

When you’ve brewed your morning cuppa, don’t discard your grounds. Instead, sprinkle your left over coffee grounds around your veggies to fend off mosquitoes, ants, slugs and maggots. They are also a great fertilizer for plants that like more acidic soil like rhododendrons and azaleas.

Fungal Diseases?

No problem! Just mix together one tablespoon of baking soda and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in two liters (two quarts) of warm water. Spray on affected areas and your plants will be fungus free in no time.

Chrysanthemum tea

Did you get a bunch of flowers? Save the mums and make this really great tea that paralyzes bugs. Mums have a chemical compound called pyrethrum that is really effective on most insects. Just boil a handful of flowers in a liter (one quart) of water for 20 minutes. When cool, pour the tea over your plants.


Listen to this recent episode of Green Divas Radio Show….

Catch the latest Green Divas Radio Show—and other green and healthy living podcasts—daily on (or get the GDGD Radio app)! Green, free radio.

Image via ShutterStock

Environment, GD Ticker, Green Divas DIY, Green Divas in the Garden, Green Divas Radio Show, sustainability

About the author / 

Green Diva Nikki

Nikki Fotheringham is the editor of and an eco-journalist specializing in green living ideas and all things environmentally friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives with her husband and a very cute dog in Toronto. Check out her new book.

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