9 Homemade pesticides for your flower garden 10 gases and their uses

Peel and crush five garlic bulbs and mix with 16 oz. of water. Let the garlic infuse in the water overnight. Add a dash of dish soap to the mixture, then strain it through a fine strainer. Dilute this liquid in a gallon of water, then place in a spray bottle. Spray this solution on your plants once or twice a week to control most insect pests. Homemade Tobacco Spray

Everyone is familiar with the negative health effects of cigarettes, but the nicotine in tobacco is poisonous to all kinds of insects, as well. Gather enough cigarette butts to harvest a ¼ cup of tobacco leaves. Place these in a sock, and soak them in a quart of water overnight. Avoid using this homemade insect spray on members of the nightshade family, like petunias, datura, and nicotiana flowers, as tobacco can harbor the mosaic virus, which affects this family of plants. Epsom Salt Pesticide

Epsom salts can be either be sprinkled around plants or dissolved in water to make a spray. To make a spray, dissolve one cup of salts in five gallons of water, then pour into a spray bottom and apply to any pest-afflicted plants. The salt mixture is especially effective on slugs and beetles. Another option is to sprinkle the salts around the base of the plants every week or so.

An effective insecticidal spray can be made with two very simple ingredients: soap and oil. Oil spray works by coating enclosing and smothering soft-body insects, such as aphids and mites. Mix a cup of vegetable oil with a quarter cup of liquid soap and shake it well. This concentrate can be stored until you need it. When treating plants, mix one tablespoon of this concentrated liquid with four cups of water. Best results require reapplication once a week. Hot Pepper Bug Repellent

Even for gardeners without a penchant for spicy foods, it’s worth adding a row of hot chili pepper plants to the garden for their bug-repelling effects. Place a handful of dried hot peppers in the food processor, seeds and all, and grind to dust.

Take care not to get the dust on your skin or eyes. Sprinkle around garden plants to repel ants and whiteflies. For more sticking power, add 1/2 cup of ground chili peppers to a quart of fine horticultural oil, and mist the tops and undersides of flower foliage. Citrus Spray

A simple citrus spray is effective at killing aphids and some other soft-bodied insects. Grate the rind from one lemon, and add it to a pint of boiling water just removed from the heat. Allow the mixture to steep overnight, then strain through cheesecloth or a fine sieve. Pour the mixture into a spray bottom and apply to both the tops and bottoms of the leaves on afflicted plants. This mixture must contact the insects in order to be effective. Rubbing Alcohol Bug Spray

Rubbing alcohol quickly desiccates the bodies of soft sucking pests such as aphids, mealy bugs, and thrips. However, it can also damage plant tissues, so gardeners should use alcohol sparingly in the garden. The best way to apply is by dabbing a cotton swab soaked with rubbing alcohol directly on the pests, taking care to avoid the plant itself. Plants with waxy leaves may tolerate a dilute alcohol spray of one-cup alcohol mixed with a quart of water. This is a favorite way of quickly dispensing of orchid pests. Bug Juice Spray

Gardeners may be repulsed yet fascinated to learn that one can make a natural bug spray out of the pests themselves. No one is exactly sure why pests are their own worst enemies when applied to plants, but researchers speculate an anti-cannibalism mechanism or the presence of a chemical that inhibits insect feeding. Gather enough of the offending pests to fill at least a teaspoon, and pulverize them with the back of a spoon. Place the mashed bugs in cheesecloth, and soak in two cups of water overnight. For best results, use the bug juice within three days.