How to Make Homemade Pesticide for Tomato Plants

Overview

When growing a garden you may find that you are not the only one enjoying your garden-fresh tomatoes. Several bug species, including white flies and mealybugs, can become problematic pests and attack both your tomato plant's foliage and its crimson fruit. Although you could apply chemical-based pesticides to resolve the problem, these often have potential health side effects. Mixing your own homemade pesticide is a safer alternative.

Step 1

Pour 2 qt. of water into a pot and bring it to a boil.

Step 2

Peel an entire head of garlic while you are waiting for the water to boil. Separate the cloves. Drop the garlic into the water and boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set the pot aside to cool to room temperature.

Step 3

Remove the garlic cloves from the water and discard. Pour the garlic-infused water into the measuring cup and top it off with fresh water so that it's a full 2 qt. again--some water will have evaporated during the boiling process.

Step 4

Pour the water into a plastic spray bottle. Add 2 tbsp. of liquid dish soap. Close the bottle and shake it thoroughly to mix the contents.

Step 5

Spray the soapy mixture onto your tomato plants. Focus on areas of the plant where you are experiencing problems with pests like white flies or mealybugs. The soap suffocates and kills most bug species while the garlic deters insects and wildlife pests like rabbits.

Tips and Warnings

  • The garlic in the water can cause the mixture to spoil over time. To prevent spoilage, store the homemade pesticide in your refrigerator when you are not using it.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring cup, 2 qt.
  • Pot
  • Garlic
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Plastic spray bottle

References

  • "The Complete Illustrated Handbook of Garden Pests and Diseases and How to Get Rid of Them"; Andrew Mikolajski; 2009
  • "The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control"; Barbara Ellis and Fern Bradley; 1996

Who Can Help

  • Organic Gardening Magazine
Keywords: homemade pesticide, tomato pesticide, insecticidal soap

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.