Natural Pest Control: How to Make Your Own Insecticidal Spray

by Jacqui Zuzgo 05/08/2022

Dealing with pests in your garden is frustrating. What’s worse is that with the plethora of pest control options available on the market it can seem impossible to make the right choice. This is especially tricky if you want to avoid using harsh chemicals present in most of the leading insecticide brands. Luckily, there are DIY options that actually work. Here is one simple way to make your own pesticide spray without harsh chemicals.

Make Your Own Insecticide Spray

While there might be a lot of pests to contend with in the garden, most of them share the same weaknesses. Conveniently, one of these weaknesses is mild liquid soap. By mixing a weak solution of soap and water you can create your own insecticidal spray for your plants with no harsh chemicals or nasty fumes. The key is to use a soap with fatty acids like Castile soap. The fatty acids in the soap will break down insect exoskeletons and effectively rid your plants of aphids, mites, whiteflies and thrips. This means you should not use dish or hand soap, as they usually contain de-greasing ingredients that won’t affect the pests (but are safe for cleaning plants).

To make a stronger homemade spray, add a bit of neem oil. This vegetable oil derived from a type of evergreen is a favorite among plant owners who prefer an organic approach to pest control. Not only will adding neem oil extend the list of pests you can handle, it can also kill fungus, mold and insect larvae in the soil. You’ll find neem oil included in ready-made pesticides and fungicides combined with other ingredients. Some more pests neem oil can kill and deter include mealy bugs, beet worm, cabbage worms, fungus gnats, beetles, moth larvae, mushroom flies and Japanese beetle.

Health and Safety Considerations

Before cleaning your plants with your DIY solution, try a test leaf or two to make sure the particular plant won’t have an adverse reaction. If you’re using neem oil, use protective gear to avoid skin irritation and keep it away from children or pets. Many gardeners refrain from using neem oil to treat outdoor gardens as it poses potential danger to beneficial insects like butterflies, ladybugs and bees. It’s also toxic to humans and other mammals if ingested. When used carefully it’s extremely effective in protecting plants from a long list of harmful pests.

There are other organic methods for controlling pests in your garden but making your own bug spray is a convenient and effective option. You can use this same recipe on houseplants, vegetables and other outdoor plants without worrying about harsh chemicals.

About the Author
Author

Jacqui Zuzgo

I have been a REALTOR® in Massachusetts since 1984 and hold both a salesman and broker license. I am currently affiliated with Five College REALTORS® located at 190 University Drive, Amherst, MA. Over my career, I have consistently been a Top Producer in the Pioneer Valley and have gained a reputation for being a strong-minded, no-nonsense negotiator in the industry. I also frequently rank highly on Boston’s Top 20 for sales in Western Massachusetts. Some of my best qualities include my listening and communication skills. I have time and again proven to work well under pressure with exceptional attention to detail. My commitment to my clients and professionalism is obvious in every transaction.

Representing both buyers and sellers in Hampshire and Franklin Counties, as well as assisting in relocations throughout the United States and globally has helped me embrace the need for quality performance and develop an acute and sincere sensitivity to people's needs. Honing in on what matters most is almost a sixth sense. Communication and awareness of the situation at hand produce a final result that has undoubtedly led to the large referral business I maintain.

Education has been a theme throughout my 30 years of experience. Well versed in technology and holding key designations have proven to be assets to my performance and dedication to the Real Estate field. My never-ending enthusiasm, availability, knowledge and drive make for a seamless transaction every client, every time.

I am a native of the Pioneer Valley. I am committed to sharing all the area has to offer in making your transition, whether long distance or short, a satisfying experience.

Education:

  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst - Bachelor of Science 1983
  • Top Individual Seller for Residential Sales in the Pioneer Valley since 2006.
  • #1#1 Realtor in the entire Franklin/Hampshire Counties for Millions Sold since 1999.
  • Highest producer in sales since 2004 in Franklin/Hampshire Counties.
  • ABR®– Accredited Buyer's Representative
  • CRS – Certified Residential Specialist (only 3% of REALTORS® hold a CRS)
  • e-PRO – Digital Marketing, Certified e-PRO Realtor®
  • GRI – Graduate, Realtors® Institute
  • SRES– Seniors Real Estate Specialist®

Biographical Highlights:

Life long, active member of the community, born & raised in the Pioneer Valley. Graduate of University of Massachusetts, Amherst, BS 1983.

Current Committee Involvement:

Member of the local Chamber of Commerce - Post Board of Director's member Volunteer for the Road to Recovery.

Greenfield Community College Foundation Board Member 

Greenfield Savings Bank Corporator

MLS Professional Standards Committee Member

Have a question for Jacqui? Jacqui's email: [email protected]