Before using commercial pesticides, try your own homemade version first. Water the plants well the day before application and spray the entire plant with the home remedy insecticide until it drips, covering both sides of the leaves. Then, wash off any solution used with a hose or bottle spray water after three hours. Reapply the home remedy in about five to seven days. Test all products on a small area of the plant and wait two or three days. Then, check that it kills the insects and doesn't harm the plant. Test all plants--what is harmless to one plant may kill another.
Mix 2 tbsp. of baby shampoo or 3 tbsp. of dishwashing liquid for every 1 gallon water. This is an all-purpose home remedy that will work to control many plant insects, such as aphids and spider mites. Check in three days and if the solution has not worked effectively, proceed to the next step.
Control aphids, whiteflies, scale insect, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips and lace bugs with a solution made from 1 gallon of water, 2 tsp. of dishwashing liquid (or baby shampoo) and 2 tsp. of vegetable oil. Do not use this on plants with hairy or waxy leaves. Apply only when plants are shaded, not while they are exposed to the sun.
Make traps to control slugs, snails and earwigs. Bury tuna-size cans in your garden so that the tops are at ground level. Place cans throughout your garden, especially where you see earwigs, slugs or snails, or have seen their damage and trails. To control snails and slugs, fill the cans with beer--any brand will do. For earwigs, fill the cans with fish oil. Dispose of the trapped pests and replace the beer or fish oil every three days.
Manage ants by filling a spray bottle with 10 parts water and 1 part peppermint oil. Spray the ants, plants and anthills, as needed.