Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Chemical-Free Insect Repellant for My Garden

Recently I have noticed that bugs seem to be particularly attracted to some of my plants - if I didn't do something quickly, my mint, spring onions, lettuce and cucumber were in danger of becoming extinct. There are various natural insect repellant spray recipes around the interwebs and, as with my most of my recipes, I couldn't decide which one to use so I combined about three recipes and came up with this:


  • half a large brown onion, diced
  • 7 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • tbsp of chili powder
  • hot water
  • tbsp of plant-based dishwashing soap

I put the onion, garlic and chili powder into an empty jar and filled it to the top with hot water. I put the lid on it and let it steep for about two hours, until the water was no longer hot. I drained the onion/garlic/chili water through a colander then poured the liquid, plus the soap, into a spray bottle and got to work spraying all the leaves in my garden. (You might want to wear a bandana across your face so you don't pepper-spray yourself!)

I hope this works - I don't want to kill bugs, but I am sick of them eating my plants, so hopefully this will keep them away. I will post an update in the future as to the success or failure of the spray.

If you've got a vegan insect-repellant recipe that works, please leave it in the comments!


In other news, I counted six tomatoes growing in the garden, and one two-inch-long zucchini. At least some of my veggies have escaped the wrath of the insects and are off to a good start!


  1. hmm - I have started to eat my kale leaves while quite young because otherwise they get eaten but I am not sure how they would taste if I sprayed this on them!!! I know what you mean about the bugs - why can't they just pack their bags and go on holidays!

  2. I can be your guinea pig Johanna! (Wow, it just hit me what an un-veg expression that is!). I have a feeling that it won't make them taste weird - much like you can spray clothes with vinegar water to freshen them and it won't make them smell like vinegar...

    Will be sure to post updates in regards to taste and effectiveness.

  3. I'll be very interested to hear about your success rates. Incidently do you know what is eating them? If you find aphids I find blasting them off with water particularly effective. Not sure if this kills them though.

  4. I have no idea what is eating them - I can't find a trace of insects anywhere - just the holes they leave, which is why I tried to make a general insect-warding-off spray. There's a new stalk of mint coming up, so far unscathed, that will be my test subject.

  5. I'm gonna give this a go, thank you... All my plants are constantly being attacked, but particularly the bay tree, the olive tree, and the kale. It's hard enough keeping plants alive WITHOUT the bugs!

  6. What an easy formula! I once tried DIY mosquito repellents too, but these bugging insects still find a way (perhaps perfect timing) to pester my garden. So as a solution, my brother installed an automatic misting system in the garden, which automatically sprays a natural solution four times a day.

  7. Your blog is one of the posts that I found when I was looking for DIY insecticides because I’m having trouble with insects that are invading my veggie garden. I used the formula that you’ve given, and I had great results. However, like with Maurise here, the pests just keep coming back. Indeed, good timing is what we need in eradicating pests.
    -- Annabelle Millard