Commercially made insecticides work well to quickly eliminate or repel whiteflies, aphids, mealy bugs and other common pests that invade gardens and houseplants. Most commercial pesticides contain powerful chemicals, however, many of which have been proven to be unhealthy for people and their pets as well as harmful to the environment. Earth-friendly alternatives to chemical pesticides can be made from common household items. Organic bug killers may not kill all types of insects, but they are effective against many common garden variety pests.
Mix together 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil, 3 to 4 drops of liquid soap and 1 quart of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake well.
Spray the entire plant with a light spray, making sure to spray the undersides of leaves where soft-bodied insects such as mealy bugs hide. The oil smothers insects and the soap helps to remove an insect's protective coating.
Combine 2 tbsp. hot pepper sauce or cayenne pepper, 3 to 4 drops of liquid soap and 1 quart of water. Stir well.
Shaking the bottle frequently, spray the entire plant. This mixture is most effective against spider mites.
Mix 1 rounded tbsp. of baking soda, 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, a few squirts of liquid soap and a gallon of water. Pour into a spray bottle and apply. This recipe kills fungal diseases such as powdery mildew or black spot as well as common garden insects. Spray lightly on the affected areas of the leaves and repeat every few days.
Place two to three garlic bulbs, six large hot chili peppers, 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, a few squirts of liquid soap and 2 quarts of water in a blender. Mix until liquefied, strain and pour the liquid into spray bottles. Many common insects such as aphids and beetles are repelled by the smell of garlic and hot peppers. This solution works best as a repellent rather than a bug killer.
Write the ingredients of leftover solutions on the outside of the spray bottles before storing in the refrigerator. Shake well before each use.