Make Your Own Nontoxic Pesticides

Most commercial products made to kill pests are also not so great for you. Exposure to pesticides can cause neurological problems, depression, respiratory issues, cancer, fatigue, and reproductive problems. Yet backyard gardeners tend to use three times more than farmers. These chemicals then run off into rivers, streams, and watersheds, causing destruction to animals and their habitats. Also, some 70 percent of non-organic fruits and vegetables are contaminated with at least one pesticide.

Thankfully, there are less damaging ways to beat the pests munching their way through your home-grown produce. They’re also cheaper than commercial pesticides. Here are a few to try at home:

General use pesticides:

Spearmint Hot Pepper Horseradish Spray: Mix together ¼ cup each of hot red peppers, fresh spearmint, horseradish, and green onion tops with some water, strain the solution, and add a half-gallon more of water and a tablespoon of non-toxic liquid soap. Spray on your plagued plants, and make sure to reapply after a rainstorm.

Dishwashing Liquid/Vegetable Oil
This combination is especially good for eliminating white flies, spider mites, and aphids. Mix one teaspoon of organic liquid dishwashing detergent with one cup of vegetable oil. Shake vigorously and add to a quart of tap water. Use at 10-day intervals as an all-purpose spray for insects on carrots, celery, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, and other veggies. Spray mixture directly onto the bugs.

Diatomaceous Earth
Easily found in garden or aquarium centers, this natural compound is made up of the sharp remains of miniscule fossilized plants. Sprinkle your garden with it and when insects walk on it, it slices their exoskeletons, killing them.

Garlic and Mineral Oil
Chop 10 to 15 garlic cloves into small pieces and soak in 1 pint of mineral oil overnight. Strain and spray oil mixture directly on infestations.

For slugs and snails:

Set out little dishes of beer around your garden. Snails and slugs will drink it, become intoxicated, fall in and drown.


Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.