Sometimes a gardener needs to take it up a notch with pest control, but resist the temptation to buy chemical pesticides from the nursery or home improvement store. Try the following recipes as go-to formulas for knocking out all kinds of unwanted visitors. I'm crossposting this to the CV Garden Blog
All Natural Insecticide Soap -
The soap in this recipe gets into the skin of the insect, causing dehydration and then extermination. Be careful not to add too much soap or you risk harming your plants. It is particularly helpful for soft bodied insects. Also, use a biodegradable liquid soap such as Dr. Bronners Liquid Castile Soap. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons liquid soap and 1 quart water. Combine these ingredients then use in a spray bottle as needed. Add this recipe to others for to boost it’s effectiveness.
All Purpose Pesticide Spray -
Gather together some strong scented roots and spices such as cayenne, horseradish, ginger, garlic, onions, mint, rhubarb and anything else you can think of. Boil these in enough water to cover them and let the mixture sit overnight to marinate. Strain it out, put it in a spray bottle with some All Natural Insecticide Soap (see above) and you are good to go. This will keep for several weeks unless frozen.
variation - Instead of using all of the other herbs, simply use 1-2 heads of garlic. Deer and rabbits in particular are repelled by this.
While human tend to enjoy the little jittery burst of energy that comes from caffeine insects on the other hand will do well to repel insects - particularly aphids. Gather any or all of the following herbs: yarrow, tansy, pennyroyal, thyme, lavender, rue, catnip and artemisia. Mix at least a cup of this herbal mixture with 2 tbsp used coffee grounds and 2 cups of water. All this to marinade for at least 24 hours before straining and placing into a spray bottle. This can keep for several weeks