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How to Make Homemade Insect Plant Spray

By Elizabeth Balarini ; Updated September 21, 2017
Aphid infestation

Home gardeners or people with houseplants have to contend with plant pests at one time or another. Insects can invade leaves, flowers or roots, devouring and destroying the plant. Commercially available poisons kill plant pests but are harmful to pets, children and the environment. An alternative is to make a homemade insecticide to kill and prevent pest infestations.

Use a gallon pitcher

Wash the 1-gallon pitcher or jug with warm soapy water, especially if it has been used for sugary drinks. Rinse well.

Add liquid soap

Pour 2 tbsps. of liquid dishwashing soap into the pitcher. If you want to make an organic insecticide, use an organic liquid soap.

Add oil

Add 2 tbsps. of oil to the pitcher. Use a food-grade, edible oil, not all-purpose or motor oil. Again, if you want to make an organic recipe, use an organic edible oil.

Add garlic and pepper

Add one clove of crushed garlic to the pitcher. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper into the mix.

Mix with a wooden spoon

Pour water into the pitcher to fill it. Stir the mixture carefully with a long spoon.

Pour into a spray bottle

Pour the mixture into a clean spray bottle. The soap and oil will smother and kill existing pests. The scent of garlic and cayenene pepper will retard future infestations because insects do not like the pungent smell.

Spray affected plants

Spray on affected plants daily until the infestation is under control. Thereafter spray monthly to repel insects.


Things You Will Need

  • Gallon pitcher
  • Spray bottle
  • Liquid soap
  • Food-grade oil
  • Garlic
  • Cayenne pepper

About the Author


Elizabeth Balarini is a freelance writer and professional blogger who began writing professionally in 2006. Her work has been published on several websites. Her articles focus on where her passions lie: writing, web development, blogging, home and garden, and health and wellness. Balarini majored in English at the University of Texas at San Antonio.