How Effective is Homemade Insecticide?

Alicia Sparks

If it includes the proper ingredients and is mixed and applied correctly, homemade insecticide can be just as effective as store-bought, chemical, or other kinds of insecticide. Depending on the mixture, and the chemical pesticide it’s compared to, a homemade pesticide might even be more effective. This is why many homemade insecticide recipes found on the Internet or in a gardening- or organic-minded publication are backed by gardeners who have used them and had success. As with commercial kinds of insecticide, the trick is to a successful homemade insecticide is to find a recipe that uses the right blend of ingredients and to use it regularly and according to instructions. There are both pros and cons to creating and using a homemade pesticide, but by investing time and effort, gardeners can eventually eliminate the cons.

Homemade insecticide can be as effective as commercial brands.
Homemade insecticide can be as effective as commercial brands.

A simple Internet search provides gardeners with a multitude of homemade insecticide recipes and use instructions. Many natural insecticide recipes call for ingredients such as peppers, garlic cloves, tomato leaves, and lemons or limes. Certain recipes for natural insecticide call for hot sauces. Others call for seemingly blander ingredients like eggshells and certain kinds of cooking oils. There are even organic insecticide recipes that recommend using the ground up bodies of the same kinds of insects the gardener wants to repel.

There are both pros and cons to creating and using a homemade insecticide.
There are both pros and cons to creating and using a homemade insecticide.

Just as the ingredients vary, the mixing and application methods of each homemade insecticide vary, too. One recipe might call for one specific ingredient, while another calls for a mixture of two or more ingredients. If the gardener is supposed to spray the insecticide, the recipe might call for a certain amount of water. Some kinds of organic insecticide are meant to be simply placed on or near the plant to be protected, as is the case with eggshells and dead insect bodies. Of course, some homemade insecticide recipes are specific to the kinds of insects the gardener is trying to repel.

There are pros to using a homemade or organic insecticide, such as avoiding chemical pollution and making use of products already present in the home. Unfortunately, there are cons, too. For example, making a homemade pesticide can take time and effort the gardener might not always have every time he needs a new batch. Also, the particular recipe a gardener wants to use might call for ingredients he doesn’t have, which can lead to a more expensive pesticide than intended. A gardener can combat these cons by pinpointing the insect or insects he wants to repel, researching various kinds of homemade insecticide recipes for that insect, and reading other gardeners’ reviews before choosing which recipe is right for him.

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