Post by Pharmer Phil on Feb 4, 2006 12:12:26 GMT -6
Home Made Insecticides
1. It is best to use any type of spray in the early morning or the cool of evening. Do not spray when temps are above 80 degrees Fahrenheit! Your plants may "burn" or have a reaction to what you are using in excessive heat. This is known as "phytotoxicity."
2. Always perform a test on a small portion of the plant material first. Wait 24 hours to observe any negative reaction. Proceed if there is no damage.
3. More is not better. If you are not getting good results don't increase the strength of these remedies without testing first.
4. Target just the area you need to treat. Be careful... try not to harm the good guys! You don't want to run off your allies.
5. When working with sprays or dusts always protect your exposed skin and face. Some of these ingredients can be very irritating to your skin, eyes and mucous membranes, especially any hot pepper sprays.
The idea of using rubbing alcohol as a spray for plant pests has been around for years. Some people swear by it while others blame it for causing leaf damage.
Protection offered: People that have used alcohol sprays say they work on aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, thrips and whiteflies. Alcohol sprays have been used successfully on houseplants and tropical foliage plants. Most of these have heavy, waxy cuticles that are not easily burned. Alcohol sprays can damage African violets and apple trees.
How to Make:
Mix 1 to 2 cups alcohol [Use only 70% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol] per quart of water. Using undiluted alcohol as a spray is very risky for plants. You can also mix up an insecticidal soap spray according to the dilution on the label but substitute alcohol for half of the water required.
How to Use:
Since alcohol can damage plants always test your spray mix on a few leaves of plants first. If the spray kills the pests and no leaf damage shows within the next 2 or 3 days, go ahead and spray further, using exactly the same ingredients and proportions you tested.
Tomato Leaf Spray
Plants belonging to the nightshade family, like tomatos, potatoes and tobacco, have significant amounts of toxic compounds called alkaloids in their leaves. These toxins are water soluble and can be soaked from chopped leaves and made into home-made sprays. Their toxicity, however, may account for only part of their effectiveness. The sprays also attract natural pest enemies that follow powerful chemicals in these plants as cues in searching for prey.
Tomato leaf sprays have been used to protect plants from aphids. Also, spraying tomato leaf spray can reduce cutworm damage. A scientific study
has shown that plants sprayed with tomato leaf spray attracted significantly more Trichogramma wasps to parasitize moth eggs than the unsprayed plants did.
How to Make:
Soak 1 to 2 cups of chopped or mashed tomato leaves in 2 cups of water overnight. Strain through cheesecloth or fine mesh, add about 2 more cups of water to the strained liquid, and spray.
How to Use:
Spray plants thoroughly, particularly undersides of lower leaves and growing tips where aphids congregate. While this spray is not poisonous to humans on contact, use care in handling, especially if you are allergic to the nightshade family.
Garlic Oil Sprays
Organic gardeners have long been familiar with the repellent or toxic affect of garlic oil on pests. When it is combined with mineral oil and pure soap, as it is in the recipe that follows, it becomes an effective insecticide. Garlic oil spray has fungicidal properties.
Good results, with quick kill, have been noted against aphids, cabbage loopers, earwigs, June bugs, leafhoppers, squash bugs and whiteflies. The spray does not appear to harm adult lady beetles; however, it can be toxic to many beneficial insects.
How to Make:
Soak 3 ounces of finely minced garlic cloves in 2 teaspoons of mineral oil for at least 24 hours. Slowly add 1 pint of water that has 1/4 ounce liquid soap or commercial insecticide soap mixed into it. Stir thoroughly and strain into a glass jar for storage. Use at a rate of 1 to 2 Tbsp. of mixture to a pint of water. If this is effective, try a more dilute solution in order to use as little as possible.
How to Use:
Spray plants carefully to ensure thorough coverage. To check for possible leaf damage to sensitive ornamentals from the oil and soap in the spray, do a test spray on a few leaves or plants first. If no leaf damage occurs in 2 or 3 days, go ahead and spray more.
Many organic farmers are familiar with using sprays made from aromatic herbs to repel pests from the garden plants. The essential oil of Sage and Thyme and the alcohol extracts such as Hyssop,
Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, and White Clover can be used in this manner. They have been shown to reduce the number of eggs laid and the amount of feeding damage by cutworms and other caterpillars.
Sprays made from Tansy have demonstrated a repellent effect on imported cabbageworm on cabbage, reducing the number of eggs laid on the plants.
Teas made from Wormwood or Nasturtiums repel aphids from fruit trees, and sprays made from ground or blended Catnip, Chives, Feverfew, Marigolds, or Rue have also been used by gardeners against pests that feed on leaves.
Try herbal sprays against any leaf-eating pests and make note of what works for future reference.
How to Make:
In general, herbal sprays are made by mashing or blending 1 to 2 cups of fresh leaves with 2 to 4 cups of water and leaving them to soak overnight. Or you can make an herbal tea by pouring the same amount of boiling water over 2 to 4 cups fresh or 1 to 2 cups dry leaves and leaving them to steep until cool. Strain the water through a cheesecloth before spraying and dilute further with 2 to 4 cups water. Add a very small amount of nondetergent liquid soap (1/4 teaspoon in 1 to 2 quarts of water) to help spray stick to leaves and spread better. You can also buy commercial essential
herbal oils and dilute with water to make a spray. Experiment with proportions, starting with a few drops of oil per cup of water.
How to Use:
Spray plants thoroughly, especially undersides of leaves, and repeat at weekly intervals if necessary.
Hot Pepper Dusts
Black pepper, chili pepper, dill, ginger, paprika, and red pepper all contain Capsaicin, a compound shown to repel insects. Synthetic Capsaicin is also available for field use. Researchers have found that as little as 1/25 ounce of Capsaicin sprinkled around an onion plant reduced the number of root maggot eggs laid around the plant by 75%, compared to a control plant.
Capsaicin-containing dusts repel onion maggots from seedlings, as well as other root maggot flies from cabbage family plants and carrots. Pepper dusts around the base of the plants help repel ants, which is desirable in a garden where ants often protect and maintain aphid colonies on plants.
How To Make:
It can be rather expensive to buy enough packaged pepper dusts to sprinkle throughout your garden. However, if you grow and dry your own red peppers, chili peppers, or dill, you can make lots of dust at low cost. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the peppers, or dill, including the seeds, to dust. Be careful handling the hot peppers because they irritate sensitive skin.
How to Use:
Sprinkle along seeded rows of onions, cabbage, or carrots, in a band at least 6 inches wider than the row or planting bed. A fine sprinkling will suffice, but the more dust you use, the better the effect. Renew after a heavy rain or irrigation. To protect plants from ants, sprinkle around the base of plants in an area as wide as the widest leaves.
Hot Pepper Spray
Hot pepper sprays are also effective, similar to the pepper dusts above. They can also be used in combination with garlic oil sprays and soap.
In a blender with water, liquify 2 large cayenne or habanero peppers. Strain to remove the solids and add water to bring the volume up to one gallon of concentrate. Shake well before using, and spray at the dilution rate of 1/4 cup of concentrate per gallon of water. Add 1/4 tbs. of pure castille soap to make the mixture stick to the plants better.
Nicotine is extremely toxic to insects. The great advantage of home-made nicotine tea is that it is very short lived, retaining its toxicity for only a few hours after spraying. It is relatively nonhazardous to bees and lady beetles because of its short persistence; However, it should be considered extremely toxic and, as with all pesticides, should be kept away from children and pets. Do not use on petunias, or plants in the nightshade familiy due to the possiblity of transmiting Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV).
**DO NOT USE ON EDIBLE CROPS
**Nicotine can be absorbed by plant leaves and remain there for several weeks. For this reason, it should not be used on edible plants.
Nicotine is effective against ground and soil pests, especially root aphids and fungus gnats, and on many leaf-chewing insects, such as aphids, immature scales, leafhoppers, thrips, leafminers, beetle larvae.
How To Make: You can brew your own batch of nicotine tea by soaking tobacco leaves or cigarette butts in water to make a spray.
Soak 1 cup of dried, crushed tobacco leaves, or an equivalent amount of cigarette butts, in one gallon of warm water with 1/4 teaspoon pure soap added. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth after it has soaked for 1/2 hour. The solution will keep for several weeks if stored in a tightly closed container.
How to Use:
For soil pests, pour the spray mixture onto the soil in the area of the stem base and root zone. For leaf pests, spray leaves thoroughly, especially the undersides.