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Easy & Safe DIY Plant Pesticide (Natural Repellent)

Making an effective DIY plant pesticide at home is easy and safe. I’m not exactly a green thumb. In fact, I’m definitely a black thumb. That’s why I was very excited when I finally found a perennial (annuals are not my friend) – which seemed un-killable – for my front planter bed. Cheers to the humble Impatiens (I’m located in growing zone 10).

However, recently my seemingly indestructible Impatiens have been shriveling, turning brown, and not growing new buds. After close inspection I could see tiny brown and black specs all over the stems and some of the leaves of the plants. A quick google search confirmed I had an aphid infestation.

In this article, I’ll share:

  1. what an aphid is, and other common plant pests to look out for

2. how to make a simple and safe pesticide using things you most likely already have

How to Identify Pests

Pests are of course common in all yards and gardens. The trick to knowing how to successfully eradicate them is correctly identifying which pest you have. Fortunately aphids are easily identifiable.


Aphids are pesky little bugs that can cause some serious trouble in your garden – and to your house plants. Let me tell you, aphids may be small, but they can do some major damage.

These critters are typically only a few millimeters long and come in a variety of colors, from green to brown to even pink! They have soft bodies and long antennae, making them quite distinct from other garden pests.

One thing that sets aphids apart from other insects is their feeding habits. These little guys love to feed on the sap of your plants, which can lead to stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and even death in severe cases. Not exactly what we’re looking for in our beautiful gardens, am I right?

Other most common pests

Besides aphids, here are the most common garden pests:

The infamous spider mites. These are actually not spiders at all, but tiny arachnids that love to live on the underside of leaves. They suck the sap out of your plants, causing leaves to turn yellow and die.

Next up we have the cabbage worm. As the name suggests, they love to munch on your cabbage, as well as broccoli, kale, and other cruciferous vegetables.

Last but not least, we have the snails and slugs. These slimy creatures love to feast on your tender seedlings and can quickly decimate your garden.

But fear not! There are some natural ways to control aphids and other pests in your garden. Ladybugs, for example, love to eat aphids and can help keep their populations in check. Additionally, you can try spraying your plants with a harmless (to your plants) concoction using things you most likely already have in your kitchen.

This video may help you properly identify your pest.

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How to get rid of Aphids and other Pests for good

Once I realized the bugs were harmless to me, the initial “ick” feeling wore off. But after all the effort I’d put into planting and replanting different varieties of perennials and annuals in that bed, and finding one that actually found the spot hospitable, I knew I had to move quickly before the little pests completely killed my Impatiens. Time for the magic potion.

DIY natural pesticide (repellent)

DIY Plant Pesticide

Total Time: 8 hours

Prepare garlic

Either a whole bulb of garlic or minced garlic works just fine. I used minced for ease. Measure ~ 3 teaspoons and place in mixing bowl. If using a bulb, peel and toss in a blender. Blend with ~ 1 cup of water until finely chopped.

Add remaining ingredients

To the mixing bowl add 1 tablespoon soap, 1 teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper, and ~ 3 cups water.

Thoroughly whisk ingredients

Ensure all ingredients are mixed together.

Allow the mixture to ‘rest’

Cover the mixing bowl and set aside overnight. Due to the odor I suggest placing the bowl in the garage. Allowing the pesticide to rest gives all of the ingredients time to marinate together to create ultimate pungent-ness.

Pour into a spray bottle

I didn’t have a fine strainer so I used a small funnel to just pour the mixture straight into the bottle while the chunks of garlic and pepper had settled to the bottom. From the picture you can see how well this went for me! But it all worked out in the end. After screwing the lid on tightly, give the bottle a good shake.


  • water
  • garlic (bulb or minced)
  • liquid dish soap
  • crushed cayenne pepper (or other hot pepper)


  • mixing bowl
  • teaspoon
  • 1 cup measure
  • whisk
  • spray bottle
  • blender (if using a whole garlic bulb)
  • funnel (optional)
  • fine strainer (optional)

Soap coats and smothers the pest’s larvae – don’t forget to include it!

How to use the pesticide

With your newly created plant pesticide, head outside (or to your indoor plant) and spray, spray, spray. If you are dealing with an infestation a daily spray is necessary – especially after watering or rain. If you’re using the pesticide for preventative purposes, a weekly spray should suffice.

TIP: Be sure to spray your pesticide on the underside of leaves as this is where Aphids, and other pests, like to lay their eggs.

Don’t forget to spray underneath the leaves

After a few days of daily spraying I ultimately pruned my plants due to the amount of dead blossoms and leaves. I wiped away the dead Aphids, and have since been using the pesticide weekly to keep them at bay.

That’s it! Pretty straight forward, simple, and very effective. I’d love to hear about your success with this spray. Happy gardening!

And in case you’re interested:

These are the spray bottles I use around my house/garden for cleaning products, etc. They’re affordable, and durable.

These are my all time favorite measuring spoons. They magnetize together so they don’t get lost in my drawer. They are double sided which I find convenient when I need to measure out powder and liquid for the same recipe. Also, the more slender end is great for small container openings.

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Reader Questions and Recommendations

Readers, do you have any favorite topics / posts? What would you like to read more about in the future? As I hope you can tell from this and other articles on my site, I really enjoy DIY / a good challenge, and I’m not afraid to roll up my sleeves to figure out a great, and hopefully simple 😁 solution. So please feel free to let me know in the comments below (or reach out via social media)!

Ok Really – I’ll try to wrap this up now😂

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