Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Safe Organic Pesticides

Summer is fast approaching, and for those of use who love to garden--crop pests will soon become a concern. Often we need to consider what is safe to use on our plants that will not harm our pets and family.

My approach is to do what farmers did hundreds of years ago--use one of several home remedies for removing insect infestations from my garden plants. Why use harmful chemical pesticides (yes, the very same ones that have been linked to cancerous activity) when you can use an all-natural, inexpensive, organic method to put those bugs out of your garden?

Here are a few well known and extremely effective organic pesticides for your home garden.

(1) . Soap, Orange Citrus Oil & Water

Mix 3 tablespoons (45ml) of liquid Organic Castile soap with 1 ounce (30ml) of Orange Oil to 1 Gallon of Water. Shake well. This works very well against slugs and can be sprayed directly on Aphids, ants and roaches. I use it in my dog houses for fleas. Has a pleasant smell. Keep out of the sun. Should be good for 2-3 weeks.

(2). Onion & Garlic Spray
Mince 1 organic garlic clove and 1 medium organic onion--add 1 quart of water. Let it stand one hour--strain it through some cheeze cloth. Then add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 tables spoon of liquid soap to the mix. Has a strong odor. Great to use on Tomatoes ( and Roses, too!). If stored in the refrigerator it will hold it's potency for 1 week.

(3). Neem Oil

Neem oil is the most powerful natural pesticide known to man and was highly revered by ancient Indians to ward off pests. It has an extremely bitter taste and can be use to deter your pets from chewing/eating your plants. To make a spray--take 1/2 ounce (15ml) of high quality organic neem oil and 1/2 teaspoon(2.5 ml) of mild organic liquid soap (Dr. Bronners peppermint will give it a pleasant smell) to 2 quarts of warm water. Slowly stir--add to a spray bottle and use immediately.

(4). Salt Spray

This works great on Spider mites. Mix 2 tablespoons of Crystal Salt into 1 gallon of warm water and spray on infected areas.

(5). Mineral Oil
Mix 10-30 ml of high grade mineral oil with 1 liter of water. Stir and add to a spray bottle. Works great for dehydrating insects and their eggs.

(6). Citrus Oil and/or Cayenne Pepper Mix

Another great organic pesticide for Fleas & ants. Mix 10 drops of Citrus essential oil with 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 cup of warm water. Shake well and spray in affected areas.

(7). Eucalyptus Oil

Need to shoo away flies, bees and Wasps? Simply sprinkle a few drops of Eucalyptus oil where the insects are found. Within a few minutes they will be gone.

(8). Chrysanthemum Flower Tea

Chrysanthemums hold a powerful plant chemical called component pyrethrum which invades the nervous system of insects rendering them immobile. Take 100 grams of dried flowers, place in 1 liter of water and boil the flowers for 20 minutes. Strain cool, and place in a spray bottle. This spray can be stores for up to 2 months. To enhance this spray's effectiveness, add some organic neem oil.

(9). Tobacco Spray

Tobacco spray was once a very common pesticide for killing pests, caterpillars, and aphids--it a good spray for fruit trees. Take note: it can not be used on members of the solanaceous family (tomatoes, peppers,, eggplants, etc.)

Take 1 cup of organic tobacco and mix it into 1 gallon of water, and let it set 12-24 hours. After 24 hrs, the mixture should have a light brown color--if it is very dark, add more water. Strain and place in spray bottle.

(10). Chile Pepper/Diatomaceous Earth

Grind 2 hand fulls of dry chilies into a fine powder and mix with 1 cup of diatomaceous earth. Add to 2 liters of water and let set overnight. Shake well before applying.

(11). Soap

Any soap will kill fleas. I use a cheap liquid Laundry detergent--add 1 1/2 cups to a 5-gallon bucket, and add water with a sprayer hose. As it suds and foams up--I spread out the soap foam and kennel floors, inside dog houses, on gravel , in the yard, and anywhere I think there may be a flea infestation--and them "wash" or spray it in--and let it set for 15-20 minutes. If needed, I will come later come back and wash it down with a good clear rinse. Great for sandy soil yards and gravel dog runs.

As a breeder, I do not like to use any chemicals around my puppies or my adult dogs. I have found these organic pesticides to work quite well.

Catie C. Arney Kiokee Mastiffs

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