Insects don’t care if they’re unwelcome in the garden, they’re opportunistic feeders looking for an easy meal and will destroy your organic vegetables if given the opportunity. Maintaining an organic garden isn’t always easy when insects invade, but it can be done. Use these recipes for creating DIY organic insecticides to keep your plants healthy and insect free.

White Fly Traps

White flies love to feast on ripening tomatoes. They announce their presence by creating a white cloud that hovers over tomato plants. Rid your garden of these destructive insects (and a few other) with these DIY organic white fly traps.  Cut 2-inch strips of yellow plastic from a recycled container (yellow juice jug, laundry detergent jug, etc.) and coat the strips with cooking oil or Vaseline. Place these DIY organic sticky traps on and around all garden plants infested with white flies. The yellow color of the plastic mimics the yellow of tomato blooms and the insects will flock to the strips and become stuck. Remove sticky traps as they become full and replace with new ones until white flies are no longer visible in the garden.

Garlic Spray

Combine 10 peeled garlic cloves with 1 quart of water in a blender, then let mixture set overnight. Strain garlic mixture the next day and pour into a lidded jar. Add 1 cup of any type of cooking oil to garlic and water mixture. When ready to use on garden plants, dilute 1/2 cup of the garlic liquid with 1 gallon of water and pour into a hose sprayer or spray bottle. Saturate vegetable plants with mixture as often as needed to repel a wide range of insects.

Oil Spray

Great DIY organic insect control for sap-sucking garden predators like aphids, thrips, spider mites and whiteflies.  Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap and 1 cup of any type of cooking oil. When ready to apply to plants, mix 4 teaspoons of oil mixture in 1 pint of water. Pour into a spray bottle and saturate plants, especially on the underside of leaves where most sap-sucking pests like to hide out.

Red Pepper Spray

Make this organic insecticide by placing 1 tablespoon of red pepper powder and 6 drops of liquid dish soap into 1 gallon of water and mixing thoroughly. Pour liquid in a garden sprayer and thoroughly cover the vegetables with the red pepper spray. Can be placed in a spray bottle and used as needed on smaller garden areas.  This red pepper spray is safe for all plants and will repel most insects, like leafhoppers, spittlebugs, beetles and loopers.