Natural oils can play a very important role in keeping your garden both organic and healthy. Because of their consistency, oils adhere to leaves and stems well, which makes them great for acting as a natural pesticide and repellent. In this article you’ll learn about some of the oils that are most effective at keeping pests away, and how to incorporate them around your home and garden.
1. Cedar Oil
When you spray this oil onto plants, be warned that you may send a flurry of gnats flying as they try to escape the oil. Gnats and other insects don’t like cedar oil because it gets under their shells and is extremely irritating. Use it wisely as strong cedar oil can irritate human eyes when using too much.
This oil is best applied on cloudy days, or in the evening so that it doesn’t burn the leaves of your plants. Spray just until it starts dripping off the leaves, and no more than that.
2. Eucalyptus Oil
You will enjoy using eucalyptus oil to keep pests away if just for the aroma alone. While this oil serves more as a deterrent than as an actual deadly pesticide, it is still very effective in keeping flies, mites, aphids, earwigs, and other insects away.
For an effective repellent, dip some small cloth strips in eucalyptus oil and just hang them off your plants and trees as needed. These are great because you can use them not only in your garden, but throughout the house and yard as well.
You can also make a spray using equal parts eucalyptus oil and dish soap (I use organic castile soap) mixed into two cups of water.
3. Neem Oil
Neem is safe to use even on your fruits and vegetables, and is extremely effective at keeping pests away. Like with cedar oil, neem oil should only be applied on days when there is very little sun, or in the early evening.
It can (and probably will need to be) applied consistently to keep those slugs, caterpillars, moths, and more out of your garden, and don’t forget to apply it to the underside of leaves as well. Before spraying it on, mix in some all-natural liquid dish soap in with your neem oil.
4. Garlic Oil
This repellant is especially useful in keeping away larger pests, such as rabbits, gophers, and deer. These larger herbivores as well as insects do not like the taste of garlic and will avoid it.
For an easy and effective spray, combine 1 tbsp. garlic oil (or 10 minced garlic cloves), 1 tbsp. mineral oil, 1 tsp. natural dish soap, and 2 ½ cups of water in a glass bottle.
Apply it to the fruits, vegetables, and leaves that these pests usually love to munch on and they’ll leave them alone in no time.
5. Peppermint Oil
This oil repellent is great for targeting spiders and slugs. Spiders aren’t usually a problem if they’re in your garden, but if you’re seeing them all over the house, then definitely turn to peppermint oil to get rid of the problem.
The oil works as an excellent deterrent, as spiders can’t stand the smell, so simply spray the peppermint oil wherever you want to keep the spiders out. Dilute your peppermint oil with a carrier oil plus some liquid dish soap for a ready-to-spray mixture.
Your bug repellants don’t have to be full of chemicals and nasty smells to be effective. The next time you have a pest problem, either in the house or the garden, turn to some of these natural oils instead for a safe and effective remedy.