Homemade Insecticide

Published on February 2nd 2020
Surely the reason for growing your own food and flowers is that you know the love and labour you’ve put in will manifest in nutritional value and beauty. Unfortunately, you're not the only hungry being around – and the word is out that yours are the most succulent tomatoes and luscious roses around. Seemingly overnight, pests have snuck in and are devouring some of your plants. Knowing that some of these vegetables will soon be ready for harvesting, and in the hope that the ladybirds might be helping themselves to some aphids, a safe, organic remedy would be best to recommend. This easy-to-make insecticide of mine will help restore the balance.


  • Garlic | Tulbaghia (Fresh garlic can also be used)
  • Strongly scented herbs like Basil
  • Chillies
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Sunflower oil
  • Boiling water
  • Water
A close up of a flower garden


  • Chop everything up into small pieces in a medium-sized container.
  • Top up with boiling water, cover and let it steep for 1 - 3 days.
  • Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and dilute with 4 parts water.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid to every 1L of the mixture.
This acts as an antibiotic, antiseptic, antibacterial, fungicidal and insecticidal.


  • This is a broad-spectrum insecticide. To prevent spraying other beneficial insects, spray only in the late afternoon or evening.
  • If used at two- or three-day intervals, it will get rid off aphids, mites, cutworm, scale, thrips, whitefly, red spider, caterpillars and moths, beetles and ants.
  • If you don’t have Tulbaghia in your garden, use fresh garlic which has antifungal and antibacterial properties too.
  • Use diluted on young, tender plants.
  • Do not spray on leguminous plants.
  • Observation is key to maintaining the health of your plants. Resort to the use of insecticides only when absolutely necessary and not as a preventative measure.

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