Seen through the eyes of insects, the most peaceful garden in the world is a battleground for survival. All gardens attract plant-attacking insects, their predators and pollinators such as honeybees. When humans intervene with broad-spectrum chemical pesticides, bad and good insects alike pay with their lives. Before you launch an all-out attack on garden bugs, consider a less-toxic approach: homemade garlic pesticide.
How Garlic Pesticide Works
The U.S. Environmental Protective Agency classifies garlic as a "biochemical pesticide." In simple terms, this means garlic is a natural, nontoxic substance with no harmful environmental effects. Garlic simply repels insects with its pungent aroma. They avoid garlic-scented plants, going elsewhere to feed and lay their eggs.
Making Garlic Pesticide
Garlic's bug-repelling properties won't eliminate an existing insect infestation. To transform garlic repellent into a nontoxic but lethal treatment for soft-bodied insect pests, make your own garlic and soap solution.
Measure 1 generous tablespoon of the liquid soap, 1/2 tablespoon of the cooking oil and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder into the spray bottle. As a sticking agent, the oil helps the spray adhere to the plants.
Fill the bottle with water, cap it and shake it thoroughly to blend the ingredients.
Spray a few leaves on your target plants and wait 24 hours.
Check the sprayed leaves for burned spots. If the plants are sensitive, dilute the spray by replacing one-half of it with plain water.
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