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Homemade Bug Spray for Vegetable Plants

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017
Save your vegetables with a homemade bug spray.
Basket of Garden Vegetables image by Karin Lau from Fotolia.com

An insect infestation can undo all of the hard work gardeners put into their vegetable plants, but so can spraying them with chemical pesticides. Luckily, there are many natural alternatives to bug control--and just as many homemade bug spray recipes. Most of them consist of some combination of soap, peppers, oil and garlic. Pepper and garlic make your vegetable plants unpalatable to most insects, the oil smothers slow-moving bugs and the soap helps the spray stick to the plants.

Place the onion, garlic and jalapeno into the food processor and process the mixture until it develops a salsa-like texture.

Dump the contents out into a glass bowl (you'll have trouble getting the smell out of a plastic one). Add 1 qt. of warm water to the mixture, mix it well with a spoon and let it cure for two hours.

Strain the liquid through a sieve and into another container. Press the mash against the edges of the sieve to strain as much liquid as possible. Discard the solid matter.

Pour the contents of the container into a gallon jug. Fill it the rest of the way full with water and shake well.

Pour the homemade bug spray into your spray bottle.

Spray your vegetable plants early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Evenly coat all of your vegetable plants' tissue until just before the point of runoff.

Re-apply the spray every time it rains.


Things You Will Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Gallon jug
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tsp. Murphy's Oil Soap
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • Small onion
  • Food processor
  • Glass bowl
  • Sieve
  • Container


  • Thoroughly wash your vegetables before consuming them.
  • An insect infestation is often a sign that your vegetable plants aren't being properly cared for.

About the Author


Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.