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Basic Environmentally Friendly Organic Pesticide Recipes

Pesticides carry the suffix “-cides” which means “killer.” Natural pesticides are cheaper and safer for your family and are usually “pest-specific.” The subject of organic, or chemical-free, gardening can be quite complex. Many articles and books have been written on the subject. We encourage you to add to what follows with your own research.

Tobacco water

Place a large handful of tobacco into 4 quarts/liters of warm water. Let stand for 24 hours. Apply with a spray bottle. This tobacco water is also poisonous to humans, so use caution when handling it.

Hot Peppers
Blend 2 or 3 very hot peppers, 1/2 onion and 1 clove garlic in 4 quarts/liters of water, boil, steep for two days and strain. Can be frozen for future use.

Mix 4 quarts/liters of water, 2 Tbsp (30 ml) garlic juice (do not use garlic powder as it will burn the plants), 1 and 1/5 ounces (30 grams) of diatomaceous earth (see below), and 1 tsp (5 ml) rubbing alcohol. Can be frozen for future use.

Use only pure soap, as detergents will damage your plants. Liquid soaps: 2 Tbsp (30 ml) per quart/liter of water. Dry soaps: 1/5 oz (5 grams) per quart/liter of water. If it has not rained after a few days, remember to rinse plants.

To stop hatching larvae from burrowing into the soil surrounding your plants, use “collars” made of stiff paper, heavy plastic or tar paper. Cut a piece a foot square and fit it snugly around the base of the plant on top of the soil. Use a paper clip to hold it in place.

Fine netting such as cheese cloth, placed over the bed, will protect seedlings from chewing insects, keep cats and birds away, and prevent flying insects from laying eggs.

Pyrethrum Dust
Very effective against soft bodied insects such as caterpillars, with a low toxicity to mammals. Avoid inhaling.

Diatomaceous Earth
Made from the skeletons of tiny organisms, this dust controls pests by causing dehydration and death. Can be used indoors and out. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Note: diatomaceous earth can be processed in a variety of ways. Please be sure that the diatomaceous earth that you are using in your home is not the crystalline or chemically produced variety (which is manufactured for use in swimming pools). Avoid inhaling.

Insecticidal soap
This soap is available in gardening, hardware and drug stores.

Pyrethrum Dust
Very effective against soft bodied insects such as caterpillars, with a low toxicity to mammals. Avoid inhaling.

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