Homemade pesticide recipes found on the internet may include ingredients like borax, detergents, vinegar, baking soda, bleach or ammonia to name a
few. These ingredients are toxic and are harmful to soil, birds, aquatic life, and insects. Some have little effect on the pests they are intended to kill or lead to unintended consequences. For example, borax mixed with sugar is not recommended as a pesticide for killing ants. The danger is that if children or pets eat this
concoction, it can harm or even kill them. Pesticides made from tobacco are especially toxic and are readily absorbed through your skin.
Homemade pesticide alternatives are not recommended.
Instead of applying homemade pesticide ‘alternatives’, consider the following:
- Know your enemy. Is this pest actually a problem or is it simply annoying?
- If you are having a pest problem, first identify the pest and assess the severity of the damage. Know its’ life cycle and find out if it has a natural predator. Is there a way to manage the pest without pesticides or homemade alternatives? Check our insects page for pesticide-free control methods for common pests.
- Focus on prevention. Weak plants get attacked by insects. Ensure your plants get adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer, preferably in the form of healthy soil rich in organic matter.
- Make peace with the insects in your yard—most of them are not harmful. In fact, many insects will actually help control the “bad bugs” in your garden.