Thursday

Super Homemade Herbal Insect Spray

If you've got lots of bugs and want a super bug killing solution without resorting to dangerous chemicals, let a few herbs help. I put this herbal bug spray together last year and certainly helped with whitefly, mosquitoes and aphids.

Bugs hate it. It uses five super bug-busting herbs that are easy to grow in the garden. Another bonus is that just having these plants growing in your yard can keep bad bugs from moving in.

Given the properties of the individual herbs, the spray should help combat: Japanese beetles, whitefly, tomato hornworm, squash beetles, mosquitoes, ants, aphids, moths, snails and spider mites.

Homemade Herbal Insect Spray Recipe

1 Cup catnip leaves
4 Cayenne peppers
1 Cup cilantro
1 Cup French marigold (Tagetes) flowers  and leaves
4 Cloves garlic
1 Cup parsley
1 Cup lavender leaves and stems
1 Tablespoon dish washing liquid
4 Cups distilled water

Combine herbs and flowers in a food processor and pulse until you have them broken up and juicy. Add water as you go.

Place the mixture in the refrigerator overnight.

Strain and discard the solids. I use cheese cloth to squeeze every bit of liquid out of the batch.

Add a half-gallon (2-quarts) of water for each cup of liquid (which is concentrated) and spray on flowers, herbs and vegetables. Be generous.

Keep the mixture refrigerated. If you can't use the whole batch within ten days or so, you can cut the recipe in half. I did try freezing a cup and using it later. Actually, it did seem to work, but I still have more testing to do.

Special note: You'll have to reapply the spray after a heavy rain.

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