10 Homemade Organic Pesticides

small plant in a pile of dirt

Ever wonder what farmers did hundreds of years ago to fight off crop pests? Long before the invention of harmful chemical pesticides (yes, the kind that is linked to cancerous cellular activity), farmers and householders came up with multiple remedies for removing insect infestations from their garden plants.

The following list will offer some of our favorite, all-natural, inexpensive, organic methods for making bug-busting pesticides for your home garden.

1. Neem

Ancient Indians highly revered neem oil as a powerful, all-natural plant for warding off pests. In fact, neem juice is the most powerful natural pesticide on the planet, holding over 50 natural insecticides. This extremely bitter tree leaf can be made in a spray form, or can be bought from a number of reputable companies.

To make your own neem oil spray, simply add 1/2 an ounce of high quality organic neem oil and ½ teaspoon of a mild organic liquid soap (I use Dr. Bronners Peppermint) to two quarts of warm water. Stir slowly. Add to a spray bottle and use immediately.

himalayan crystal salt

2. Salt Spray

For treating plants infested with spider mites, mix 2 tablespoons of Himalayan Crystal Salt into one gallon of warm water and spray on infected areas.

3. Mineral oil

Mix 10-30 ml of high-grade oil with one liter of water. Stir and add to spray bottle. This organic pesticide works well for dehydrating insects and their eggs.

4. Citrus Oil and/or Cayenne Pepper Mix

This is another great organic pesticide that works well on ants. Simply, mix 10 drops of citrus essential oil with one teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 cup of warm water. Shake well and spray in the affected areas.

5. Soap, Orange Citrus Oil & Water

To make this natural pesticide, simply mix 3 tablespoons of liquid Organic Castile soap with 1 ounce of Orange oil to one gallon of water. Shake well. This is an especially effective treatment against slugs and can be sprayed directly on ants and roaches.

6. Eucalyptus oil

A great natural pesticide for flies, bees and wasps. Simply sprinkle a few drops of eucalyptus oil where the insects are found. They will all be gone before you know it.

7. Onion and Garlic Spray

Mince one organic clove of garlic and one medium sized organic onion. Add to a quart of water. Wait one hour and then add one teaspoon of cayenne pepper and one tablespoon of liquid soap to the mix. This organic spray will hold its potency for one week if stored in the refrigerator.

8. Chrysanthemum Flower Tea

These flowers hold a powerful plant chemical component called pyrethrum. This substance invades the nervous system of insects rendering them immobile. You can make your own spray by boiling 100 grams of dried flowers into 1 liter of water. Boil dried flowers in water for twenty minutes. Strain, cool and place in a spray bottle. Can be stored for up to two months. You can also add some organic neem oil to enhance the effectiveness.

9. Tobacco Spray


Just as tobacco is not good for humans, tobacco spray was once a commonly used pesticide for killing pests, caterpillars and aphids. To make, simply take one cup of organic tobacco (preferably a brand that is organic and all-natural) and mix it in one gallon of water. Allow the mixture to set overnight. After 24-hours, the mix should have a light brown color. If it is very dark, add more water. This mix can be used on most plants, with the exception of those in the solanaceous family (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc.)

10. Chile pepper / Diatomaceous Earth

Grind two handfuls of dry chiles into a fine powder and mix with 1 cup of Diatomaceous earth. Add to 2 liters of water and let set overnight. Shake well before applying.

If you have some easy recipes for making your own organic pesticides, we would love to hear them.

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

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  • LKR

    Probably May/June bug/beetles. They feast at night when you don’t seem them and will eat the leaves off of everything! They stripped my young fruit trees bare last year – even found them on roses and marigolds. You can take a flashlight with you one night in your garden to find out if they are the culprits. You can spray them with natural soap/water mix (Dr. Bronner’s) or take a bowl of it and flick them off into it – will definitely kill them.

  • http://DGilman.Gather.com/ Dennis M. Gilman

    I use soap, but then, the wrong soap can harm the plant, so use only “insecticide soap”

  • Pingback: How To Make Your Own Natural Pesticide Without Using A Single Chemical | PositiveGardening()

  • Cheryl

    Go to OMMP and natural remedies. Join our group.

  • Cindy Whitehead

    Hello. My name is Cindy W. I sprayed my tomato plants with Safeguard Antibacterial Soap. Will this harm the plants and do I need to rinse the leaves off? Can someone please advise me? I also live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not sure if that is relavent or not.

  • Carol Walters

    I recently read that a mixture of powdered catnip and water will kill roaches and keep others out of your home. We live in a flooded area and this year, these bugs have been horrendous.
    Has anyone read anything about the affectiveness of this mixture? Would gladly use it if it is safe around pets. I’m sure my cat would love it though.

  • AN

    All Plant Boost or Dragon Juice by Completely Organic is what we use. Lots of fake companies out there. This one is the real deal and not owned by evil empires including Monsanto. 100% organic ingredients from OMRI listed ingredients. No toxin. No carginogen. No water runoffs. Good grade edible product. We found th All Plant Boost or Dragon Juice products
    1. Able to retain plant water better (more drought resistant)
    2. 25-50% higher yields on certain plants. Mostly greater than 25% higher yield fruits/vegetables.
    3. Wards away pests including spider mites, aphids, white flies etc. doesn’t work on insects with exoskeleton.
    4. They have a line called Plant PM Wash which we found works on fungus immediate.
    5. They are also preparing a Completely Organic Bee Boost, a product to save your bees from mites etc.

    Use their product and you can eliminate fertilizers and conventional as well as natural pesticides which are bad for your health and environment. Best product ever!!!! You will be amazed by your tasty and high yield fruits and vegetables.

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