Tuesday, 27 August 2013

More Homemade Pest Remedies

Judging by the number of page views, the last post on natural pest control appeared to be very popular and it was nice to get some comments after writing out Kelly's notes. As I am home from work with a wog, I thought I would write out the rest of her notes in case there was some interest.

Hopefully they make sense as I am not feeling very intelligent at the moment :-)

As I said in my last post, the fungicide sprays are numbered in order of Kelly's preference and I guess by how well they work for her.

Fungicide 3

1 tablespoon Bicarb Soda (Bicarb helps disrupt fungal spores by raising the pH)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon detergent
4 litres water

Mix all ingredients together and use.

Used for: Powdery Mildew and Downy Mildew

Molasses Spray

1 cup molasses
1 litre warm tap water
Mix together thoroughly and use undiluted, spray over new foliage for best results.

Used for: Grasshoppers and caterpillars.

Molasses Soil Tonic

2 cups molasses
2 litres water

Mix until combined and spread over one and a half square metres of garden area affected by nematodes.

Lantana/Wormwood Spray

500g lantana
500g wormwood
1 litre water

Boil lantana and wormwood in water for 20 min, cool and strain. Spray liberally on affected plants.

Used for: Most effective against aphids.

Rhubarb Spray

4 rhubarb leaves roughly chopped
4 cups water
1 squirt detergent

Place rhubarb and water in a saucepan (not aluminium) bring to boil then simmer for 30 mins. Allow to cool and then strain. Make sure you press down on the leaves to get all the moisture out. Place into a spray bottle and squirt in the detergent.


Not for use on ferns and orchids. 

Predator Attractor 1

2 teaspoons Vegemite or other yeast based spread
1 litre water

Dissolve the Vegemite into the water and spray.

Used for: Attracting beneficial insects into the garden that prey on pests. Assassin Bugs, Ladybugs etc. Lacewings are particularly desirable because they consume aphids and many other pests.

Predator Attractor 2
1 dessertspoon sugar
1 dessertspoon yeast
Enough water to make a paste

Mix sugar and yeast together and add enough water to make a paste. Apply the paste onto small stakes scattered around plants. Alternatively add 1 litre of water and spray it directly onto plants.

Predator Attractor 3

Grow plants that attract beneficial insects like Ladybugs, Praying Mantis and Lacewings etc. Attractive plants include Cosmos, Marigold and Angelica.  Also herbs such Dill, Caraway and Fennel.

Fill shallow dishes with small rocks or pebbles and fill with water so the beneficial insects have somewhere to have a drink. Grow low growing plants such as Thyme or Oregano to give the beneficial insects the cover they need.

1 cup common salt
1 litre vinegar

Mix salt and vinegar together after the salt has dissolved. Brush or spray directly onto weeds.

NOTE: Remember it is not a selective weed killer and will kill anything it touches.

Other Pest Control Hints:

1.       Observation is the key to success.

2.       Create a good soil structure, healthy soil equals healthy happy plants.

3.       Feed the soil with composted soil improvers.

4.       Grow plants that suit the site and don’t sow or plant when temperatures are too low.

5.       Use crop rotation when growing vegetables.

6.       Practise good garden hygiene and clear away pest ridden and diseased foliage and when      using  tools on diseased plants give them a quick wash in methylated spirits.

7.       Encourage good air flow around plants by thinning and pruning.

8.       Don’t overfeed plants particularly with high nitrogen as it encourages lush growth which is attractive to pests.

9.       Use companion plants that mask the scent or appearance of desirable crops. Many highly aromatic plants contain natural chemicals designed to make them unattractive to pests. Mint, Wormwood, Rosemary, Lavender, Sage and many other herbs when actively growing amongst crops can confuse pest insects by masking attractive scents.

10.   Use companion plants that act as trap, sacrifice or indicator crops. Some plants such as Nasturtium, Mustard and Chinese Cabbage, can be used as decoys so that pests attack them rather than your crop.

11.   Use the good old ‘See them and squash them’ for the not so squeamish or pick off pests and disease as they appear and dispose of affected plant material.

Let me know if these are helpful. I'm going to have a 'Nanna Nap'!



  1. Wow, an abundance of recipes there. Thank you!

  2. Hope you're feeling more chipper today. Seems there is an increasing interest level with the home made sprays etc these days isn't there? Was such a good workshop too.

    1. Can't say I am feeling 'chipper' unfortunately! I was wondering if you were okay as I started feeling a bit 'off' after the workshop. I'm off to make up a herbal potion now before I resort to something from the chemist.

  3. No, I am fine. Perhaps you picked up a bug at work or something? Pity there isn't an organic spray you could apply!

  4. Ha ha, I don't know about an organic spray but in between sleeps today I have been reading Isabell Shipard's 'How can I use herbs in my daily life' and now I am spoiled for choice. She has so much good information in that book!


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