Homemade pest control sprays made easy
24 February 2021 | Agriculture
Easy homemade pest control sprays made from cigarettes, garlic and chilli peppers can help get rid of those unwanted pests in gardens and crops.
According to Agribank's technical advisor for crops and poultry, Hanks Saisai, there are four main types of pests.
These are chewing pests which eat and chew on crop leaves, sucking pests, stinging pests and soil pests. “Pests can be controlled using chemicals, biological control methods such as introduction of a natural enemy, and by using good agricultural practices such as crop rotation and in some cases, pests can be controlled using homemade remedies,” says Saisai.
According to him cigarettes can be turned into a homemade remedy to control caterpillars (chewing pests).
Fill a pot with five litres of water, then add a cup full of cigarette butts pot and boil for 30 minutes.
Then filter the water through a cloth. Add one large spoon of finely chopped soap to the liquid. Dilute the mixture with one litre of water, then spray the mixture on the leaves. The nicotine kills chewing pests. Allow a grace period of at least four days before eating the vegetable leaves.
Another method is to use garlic and turn it into a poison by chopping or crushing three cloves of garlic and then soaking it in liquid paraffin for three days. Add a large spoon of finely chopped soap and then mix the poison by adding 10 litres of water. Ensure that the poison is then sprayed on the crops. This will kill some insects and at times act as a repellent.
Saisai further says that a garlic/chilli-based spray is effective for small sucking insects such as aphids or caterpillars.
Combine crushed garlic and chilli (powdered chilli or fresh) with one tablespoon of vegetable oil and a small amount of dishwashing liquid or soap flakes. Leave the mixture to soak overnight in a jar, then strain and spray on plants. Avoid contact with your skin and eyes and keep away from kids. The mixture should be used within two weeks.
“To successfully control pests, farmers are encouraged to use the recommended spacing requirements (spacing between and within rows). Also ensure that you use pest-resistant seeds and adopt good agricultural practices such as early planting to increase the chances of yielding a good harvest,” Saisai says.