Natural Pesticides

Now a days synthetic pesticide plays a major role in eliminating pest problems in your surrounding however there is a growing boon for natural pesticides made from Marigold, Carsenthmum, Lemongrass,etc.These type of pesticides are a major herbal remedy of pests and unwanted insects in your home and in your garden area, however use of these natural pesticides can’t prove effective in case of field and crops because farming needs a permanent solution .

Strengthening a plant is the best protection against pests and disease. Through adapted cultivation methods and with good management of the ecosystem (beneficial organisms), infestations can be prevented or reduced. In some cases, however, preventive measures are not sufficient and the damage by a pest or a disease may cause noticeable economic loss. That is when direct control measures with natural pesticides may become necessary. Contrary to conventional farming practices, where it has become a widely held view that pesticides are the best and fastest means to reduce pest damage, organic farmers know that preventive methods are superior and only…………..

if prevention is not sufficient, natural pesticides should be applied.

Some plants contain components that are toxic to insects. When extracted from the plants and applied on infested crops, these components are called botanical pesticides or botanicals. The use of plant extracts to control pests is not new. Rotenone (Derris sp.), nicotine (tobacco), and pyrethrins (Chrysanthemum sp.) have been used widely both in small-scale subsistence farming as well as in commercial agriculture. Most botanical pesticides are contact, respiratory, or stomach poisons. Therefore, they are not very selective, but target a broad range of insects. This means that even beneficial organisms can be affected. Yet the toxicity of botanical pesticides is usually not very high and their negative effects on us can be significantly reduced by selective application of natural pesticides. Furthermore, botanical pesticides are highly bio-degradable, so that they become inactive within hours or a few days.

However, despite being natural and widely used in agricultural systems, some botanicals may be dangerous for humans and they can be very toxic to natural enemies. Nicotine for example, derived from the tobacco plant, is one of the most toxic organic poisons for humans and other warm-blooded animals! Before a new botanical pesticide is applied on a large scale, its effect on the ecosystem should be tested in a small field experiment. Do not just use botanical pesticides as a default option! First understand the ecosystem and how botanicals influence it!

The preparation and use of botanicals requires some know-how, but not much material and infrastructures. It’s a common practice under many traditional agricultural systems.

Some commonly used botanicals are:

Neem

Chillipepper

Pyrethrum

Mexican Marigold

Rotenon

Garlic

Quassia

Ginger

Neem

Neem, derived from the neem tree (Azadiracta indica) of arid tropical regions, contains several insecticidal compounds. The main active ingredient is azadiractin, which deters and kills many species of caterpillars, thrips and whitefly.Both seeds and leaves can be used to prepare a neem solution. Neem seeds contain a higher amount of neem oil, but neem leaves are available all year.A neem solution looses its effectiveness within about 8 hours after preparation, and when exposed to direct sunlight.

It is most effective to apply neem in the evening, directly after pre-paration, under humid conditions or when the plants and insects are damp.

High neem concentrations can cause burning of plant leaves!

There exist different recipes for the preparation of a neem solution.

Neem Seed Kernel Extract

Neem seed kernel extract was tested on cabbage in Farmer training and had a very good repelling effect on diamondback moth

(Plutella xylostella). Here is their recipe:

  • Pound 30 g neem kernels (viz. the seed without seed coat) and mix it in 1 litre of water.

  • Leave that overnight.

  • The next morning, filter the solution through a fine cloth and use it immediately for spraying.

  • It should not be further diluted.


Pyrethrum

Pyrethrum is a daisy-like Chrysanthemum. Pyrethrum is grown in mountain areas because it needs cool temperatures to develop its flowers. Pyrethrins are insecticidal chemicals extracted from a dried pyrethrum flower. The flower heads are processed into a powder to make a dust. This dust can be used directly or infused into water to make a spray.

Dry Pyrethrum Flower

Pyrethrins

Pyrethrins cause immediate paralysis to most insects. Low doses do not kill but have a knock down effect. Stronger doses of pyrethrins can kill. Pyrethrins are not poisonous for humans and warm-blooded animals. However, human allergic reactions are common. It can cause rash, and breathing the dust can cause headaches and sickness.

Pyrethrins break down very quickly in sunlight so they should be stored in darkness. Both highly alkaline and highly acid conditions speed up degradation so pyrethrins should not be mixed with lime or soap solutions. Liquid formulations are stable in storage but powders may lose up to 20% of their effectiveness in one year.


Rhubarb Leaf Mix

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rhubarb leaves
  • 6.5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup liquid dish detergent or soap flakes
  • Cover rhubarb leaves with water boil it. Boil for 20 minutes and then cool.
  • Strain it then add 1/4 cup liquid dish detergent.
  • Apply it on your crops.
  • Good for eradicating aphids, June beetles, spider mites and  Thrips.
  • Rhubarb leaves are poisonous, take care when preparing and handling.
  • Do not use on food bearing plants.

Garlic Tea

  • Make your own garlic spray by boiling a pint of water, throw in roughly chopped garlic cloves and steep until the water cools.
  • Remove garlic bits then apply on your crops.

Garlic, Peppers & Onion Insecticide

  • 2 hot peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Toss the vegetables in a food processor and add water.
  • Blend until a mash is made.
  • Cover this mash with 1 gallon hot (not boiling) water and let it stand for 24 hours.
  • Strain the solution.
  • Spray it on roses, azaleas, vegetables to kill bug infestations.
  • Bury mash in ground where bugs are heaviest.
  • Good for thrips, aphids, grasshoppers, chewing and sucking insects.

Tomato Leaves Mix

  • Crush leaves from a tomato plant and soak in water for a couple days. Strain then spray. Good for grasshopper and white fly control.
  • Tomato leaves are poisonous, take care when preparing and handling. Do not use on food bearing plants.

Basil Tea

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh basil (or 2 TBS dried)
  • 1 tsp liquid dish detergent
  • Boil water and then add basil.
  • Cover it with a plate until it cools down.
  • Strain the solution.
  • Mix it in liquid detergent then apply it on your crops.
  • Good for aphids.


Onion Insect Repellent For Plants

  • Save onion skins, peels and ends.
  • Then refrigerate them in an empty margarine-sized tub or ziploc bag until the container is full.
  • Once you have enough, place the onion pieces in a pail and fill it with warm water.
  • Soak it for 7 days.
  • After one week, strain the onion bits out and store the onion water in spray bottles.
  • Bury the onion bits around plants that are prone to aphids, spiders and other pests.
  • Spray both house and garden plants with the water to fight aphids and pests.

*You could also mix your garlic trimmings in with the onion pieces, bugs hate garlic too.


Salt Spray

Ingredients

  • 2 TBS salt
  • 1.5 gallons warm water
  • Mix salt and water.
  • Allow the solution to cool at room temperature.
  • Use this for spider mites, caterpillars, cabbage worms and chewing insects.

Epsom Salt Spray

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces of salt
  • 2 gallons water

Benefits: Helps with Black Spot, Mildew, Wilt and Rust


Slug Bait Trap

  • Set out beer in shallow containers to attract slugs, they’ll drown in the beer.

Diatomaceous Earth

  • An all natural solution for insects of all kinds ( snails, slugs, etc.)
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on top of soil around plants with pest problems.
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Horticultural Oil Mix

  • 1 TBS vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp liquid dish detergent
  • 2 cups water
  • Fill a spray bottle with the ingredients then shake to mix.

Hot Pepper Recipe

  • 1/2 cup hot peppers (or 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper)
  • 1-quart water
  • 1 tsp liquid dish detergent
  • Boil Water and add peppers.
  • Cover the solution until it cools down.
  • Strain the solution then mix it in soap.
  • If you are using cayenne pepper, no need to boil the water first. Apply it directly on your crops.

Citrus Spray

  • 2 cups orange peels (or lemons)
  • 4 cups water

  • Boil Water
  • Add peels
  • Cover the solution until it cools down.
  • Strain the solution and use it on your crops.
  • Use the lemon mixture to repel white flies.

Dish Detergent & Baking Soda

  • 2 TBS liquid dish detergent
  • 2 TBS baking soda
  • 1 gallon water
  • Mix all ingredients together then use the solution on your crops.

Peppermint Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 TBS peppermint essential oil (can also use an infusion made with mint leaves, increase amount to 1 cup of infusion)
  • 1 quart water
  • Mix together and use it as an insect spray (good for ants).


Japanese Beetle Bait Trap

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup wine
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • Mix ingredients together and put it in an old margarine container, cover with lid and set container out in the hot sun for a day.
  • The next day, remove the lid and set it in a garden where the beetles have been spotted (use a shallow container).

Potato Leaves Tea

  • 1 cup potato plant leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • Chop leaves then cover it with hot water.
  • Seal the container and leave it for 24 hours in a sunny window.
  • Strain the solution then use.
  • Potato leaves are poisonous, take care when preparing and handling.
  • Do not use on food bearing plants.

Neem Spray

  • 1 TBS Neem soap (shavings)
  • 1 liter water
  • Add soap to water then sit for an hour.
  • Shake bottle then use the solution on your crops

Mineral Oil Mix

  • 3 parts oil for every 100 parts of water
  • Benefits: Helps with Aphids, Codling Moth, Leaf Roller, Mealybugs, Scaled Insects, White Fly

Easy Soap Flakes Spray

  • 2 TBS soap flakes (don’t use detergents)
    dissolved in 1-quart water
  • Benefits: Aphid control

Pest Prevention Concentrate

Here’s a short and sweet recipe for both garden and houseplants. You can use this as a preventative spray as well as a bug and pest killer.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Sunlight dish soap
    1 TBS vegetable oil

Directions

  • Mix ingredients together then store in a plastic, airtight container.
  • When you’re ready to use, take 1-2 teaspoons of the concentrate and mix it with a quart of water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle.
  • When applying make sure to apply the solution underneath the leaves as well as the flower buds and new shoots.
  • In hot weather, repeat this process every third day (3 applications over 7 days).
  • In Warm to cool weather, use once a week for 3 weeks.

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Post Author: Shivam Kumar