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These 2 sprays are organic, can be safely used in every environment (following basic precautions), and work to treat a wide variety of pest issues you may encounter in the garden.

Garlic-Chili Spray

A great homemade, non-toxic pest repellent used by gardeners all over the world

Caution – wear protective gloves and eye protection to avoid contact with eyes and skin. The spray will have a strong garlic smell and burn skin, eyes, and mouth like hot peppers. Flush with cool water if spray or hot peppers come in contact with the mouth, skin, or eyes.

  • 2 whole heads of garlic, smashed (no need to remove the skins)
  • ½ cup of very hot dried chiles, ground or finely chopped. Hot pepper flakes or any very hot pepper will work (habanero, cayenne, etc.) If using fresh peppers, do not remove the seeds.
  • 4 cups water

Wear gloves when handling hot peppers to avoid irritating skin and eyes. Put garlic, hot chiles and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Let steep for at least 10 minutes or until cool. Once cool, strain the liquid and pour it into a spray bottle. You can also steep the ingredients all together in a jar in the hot sun for a day before straining and adding to a spray bottle. 

When you notice damage to a plant, and the presence of pests, spray directly on plants covering their entire surface, (tops and bottoms of leaves). You can also spray the soil and area around your garden to repel pests from those areas. This spray will need to be applied regularly and especially after rains when it will wash off the plants and surfaces.

This spray is safe for humans, pets, and plants and will repel most insects, and small animals (squirrels, rabbits, lizards, etc). Especially with young plants experiment with the spray before applying widely. Use caution to prevent the spray from coming in contact with skin and eyes it is not harmful but will burn.

Neem Oil:

Neem oil is an oil derived from the seeds of the Neem Tree native to India and grown in tropical/subtropical regions. The oil contains a chemical called Azadirachtin that can repel or kill many insect pests when they eat it. It is non-toxic to humans and most pets but is toxic to fish. 

Always with neem oil avoid spraying your plants on sunny days as the oil can cause the plants to burn in the sun. Apply in the evening or on cloudy days. 

Neem oil comes in many different products with different concentrations. Follow the instructions on the container for the neem oil product you purchase. In general, you will use it exactly the same as the garlic-chile spray and apply it to every surface of the plant whenever you notice damage to the plant and evidence of insects and reply every few days and especially after rain.