Last year, I decided to build a raised bed garden, so that I might grow a few things on my otherwise desolate little spot of earth. I was moderately successful…I had a bunch of squash and grape tomatoes, some jalapenos and bigger tomatoes…my green beans were a bust.
But I’m learning! Last year, I found on Pinterest, an organic pesticide that I made at home. This year, I’m starting to get something chewing on my pepper plants, mainly and some Swiss Chard. So, I went to look it up on my board and found that the link was dead. I did a little searching and found another similar recipe. It called for a fresh jalapeno, which I did not have; so I remembered the other recipe used cayenne powder and that the important thing is the capsaicin, the “hot” ingredient in peppers. The following recipe is what I put together for this year. A couple of notes: first, be VERY aware of your hands, eyes and tender tissues. You may want to wear gloves. Do NOT rub your eyes, scratch your nose or use the bathroom during this process without thoroughly scrubbing your hands FIRST! Second, my recipe isn’t 100% organic when I use Dawn brand dish detergent; but, if you get something like Seventh Generation or other brand of dish detergent that is vegetable based and organic, you can get back that last 1%. Happy bug deterrence!
Homemade Organic Pesticide
1 Onion, peeled, cut into large pieces
1 teaspoon Cayenne Powder
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 gallon Water, hot (not boiling, just hot from the tap)
1 tablespoon of dish detergent. (Use 2 tablespoons if using organic)
In a pot big enough to hold more than a gallon of water, add the water. In a food processor or blender, add the other ingredients except the detergent and process at high speed for about a minute.
Stop, scrape the sides down, and process a little longer. Using a couple of layers of cheesecloth (or an old t-shirt you can discard afterwards), strain the pulp from the liquids.
The pulp can be composted or thrown away. Using a funnel, add the detergent to a storage container with a closable cap or lid and the dish detergent. I use a class carboy from my local brewshop, but you could wash out an empty milk jug. Fill a spray bottle with the solution and make sure you mark it with a warning and use it only for this purpose!
Clean all your supplies well…the dishwasher is a good idea for anything that will fit. And WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY!!!
Apply as a mist or spray on your plants. This is not a bug killer, it is a deterrent. You don’t need to spray streams on the bugs themselves.