How to make your own natural pesticides

The best time to spray is early in the morning and evening to avoid disintegration from the sun and to kill predators and beneficial insects.


Crush a handful of mature blackjack seeds, add water and boil for 10 minutes then leave it to cool. Alternatively, soak the ground seeds in water for a day. Filter and dilute with an equal amount of soapy water. Use as a general spray for aphids, ants, beetles, cabbage root flies, caterpillars, crickets, mites, termites and whiteflies.

Lantana Camara

Collect leaves of lantana, dry them and spread at the bottom of the storage facility to control storage pests. Place the crop to be stored on top. Helps control cassava weevils, grain weevils, and potato weevils


Crush leaves (about 3kg) and put in four litres of water. Leave for five to eight days or boil for 20 minutes then leave to cool. Filter the liquid and dilute in an equal amount of soapy water made by using bar soap. Spray on the affected crop. Use the large decomposed remains to mulch your vegetables. Inter-planting marigold with crops helps in repelling pests such as ants, caterpillars,cutworms and nematodes 

Marigold with chili pepper: Take 500g of the whole marigold plant and 10 hot chili pods. Soak in 15litres of water and leave overnight. In the morning, dilute in the ratio of 1:2 with water. Add 1 teaspoon of soapy water per litre of the extract. Useful in managing aphids, (Colorado) beetles, grasshoppers, grubs, locust, scales, snails, thrips, weevils, whiteflies.

Neem/ Azadirachta indica 

Neem leaves, fruits, seeds, bark and roots have insecticidal, anti-feed and pest growth inhibiting qualities. The tree takes minerals from deep within the soil.Anti-feed: Neem repellent does not kill pests immediately, but after tasting it they stop eating and eventually die Read instructions on how inside Edition 36 HERE 

Onions, Garlic and Leeks 

Useful against many pests, especially: ants, aphids, armyworms, caterpillars and codling moths. Crush leaves or bulbs of the plants, mix in water and allow to stand for two to three days. Filter and dilute in an equal amount of soapy water. Apply on the crops as a spray. These plants have a strong smell, which repel most pests. Intercrop with tomatoes and carrots against carrot fly.


Pyrethrum kills most insects including mealy bugs. Boil about half a kilo of pyrethrum flowers in four litres of water to make a ‘strong solution’. Leave to cool and filter. Dilute with an equal amount of soapy water. Apply or spray directly on pests over affected plants. Spray late in the afternoon to avoid killing useful insects, eg bees. Dry flowers and grind to a powder and dust over insect pests.


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