All-Natural Organic Bug Spray (Insect Repellant)
Updated: Jun 10
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Summer is in full swing in our part of the world and that means our gardens are brimming with life. It just brings me joy to walk out onto our balcony and see all the flowers blossoming and the plants growing just a bit taller each day. We don't have a lot of space, but we try to utilize what we have available to us and maximize it to the best of our ability.
We live in the city at the moment and you might think that that would make us immune to garden pests. That's not been the case, unfortunately. We've had to contend with cats who used our cilantro plant as a toilet, birds who continuously ate our seeds before they could germinate, and aphids and black flies who were wreaking havoc on our little seedlings.
"Safe," But Not Safe Enough
There are numerous commercial products on the market that you can use in your garden to eradicate pests, but most of these options are toxic not only to the insects, they are also harmful to pets, people and the environment. Many of these options contain chemicals that are not conducive to organic gardening.
I found an organic pesticide option here in Switzerland and it cost a whopping $35 per bottle. While it was touted as "among the safest insecticides in the market due to their rapid degradation in the environment," this insecticide is extremely toxic to bees. This is a non-starter for me as I do all I can to attract bees to my garden and make it a safe place for them to do their very important nectar-gathering business.
What to use then? Well, it turns out that you can make your own! I'd heard about neem oil and its efficacy and safety, but it had taken me a while to get around to using it. Boy, am I glad I finally bought it! I can attest to its effectiveness in our garden and it's so easy to make. Even better, it costs just pennies - in fact, it cost me a shade over $0.26 cents to make.
Twenty. Six. Cents. C'mon!
What is Neem Oil?
Neem oil comes from the neem tree and has been used for hundreds of years as a natural insect repellant. It is extremely safe for the environment as it breaks down between 3-44 days. In fact, it breaks down in mere minutes in water, and it is non-toxic to animals, bees, and plants.
All-Natural Organic Bug Spray
1 plastic bottle - 13.5 oz or 400ml
400ml or 1 & 3/4 cups of water
20 drops of neem oil
10 drops of organic soap (if you don't have organic soap, just use what you have on hand)
Place all ingredients into the plastic bottle. Shake vigorously. It can be used immediately.
We've used this already in our garden with great results. Don't forget to wear gloves because I accidentally got some of this solution in my eye and it was no joke! It may be non-toxic, but you don't want it in your eyes!