Do you often find insects like thrips, aphid, mealybugs, leaf-miners etc infesting your perfectly growing kitchen garden plants and eventually destroying them? Well, insect infestation in plants is a plant lover’s biggest nightmare. But there are ways to get rid of these pesky creatures, read on to find out.
1. Neem oil hack: Buying neem oil which contains the component Azadirachtin is very essential as this extract from the neem tree can disrupt the lifecycle of the insects.
- 2 litres water
- 1 tbsp neem oil (Read tip 1 below)
Method: In a spray can, add in the water and neem oil, mix it well by shaking the can. Then this solution can be used on the plants (see tips below) to get rid of pests.
- When spraying this solution over the plants, do a patch test first by spraying it only on a few infected leaves before spraying it on all the plants in your garden, as different types of dish washing liquids have different potency which can cause damage to the plants. So once you do the test spray, wait for 24 to 48 hours to see if there is any damage, before proceeding with spraying using the rest of the solution.
- If you do notice any damage you can adjust the quantity of the oil and dish washing liquid, with the water and then spray it again.
- Do not only spray just the leaves but also spray the soil where the plant is planted.
2. Baking soda hack: When baking soda is consumed by the insects, it release carbon dioxide bubbles which kill the insects. The olive oil contains oleic acid. The oil coats the bodies of the insects they come in contact with. This cause disruption of cell membranes and in turn eventually causing them to die.
- 500 ml water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp dish washing liquid
Take 500 ml of water and add in the baking soda and dish washing liquid. Then mix it well and pour the solution into a spray can. This can be sprayed onto the plants.
Tip: Use this spray once in ten days on your plants to prevent them from insect infestation. In case your plants are already infected, then use it once to two times a week.
3. Garlic water hack: Garlic has beneficial properties to help prevent and kill pests, as the sulphur content in the garlic can destroy insects if they consume it and is toxic to fungus.
- 1 litre water
- 10 – 12 cloves of garlic
- 2 drops of dish washing liquid soap
Method: Crush the cloves of garlic into a semi-fine paste and drop it into the litre of water and let it sit for 24 hours. Then into a spray can, strain the garlic water and add in two drops of liquid dish washing soap. Shake the can well and it can be used to spray it on your infected plants once a week or on non-infected plants also to prevent insect infestation, every 10 to 15 days.
4. Chilli powder hack: The strong smell of the chilli powder can be distasteful to the insects and prevent them from infecting the plants.
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tsp chilli powder
In a spray can, add in the water and chilli powder and mix well. Spray this on the affected leaves. Use this spray only on non-edible leaves, once a week.
Tip: Do a test spray on just a few leaves and wait for 24 to 48 hours to see whether it agrees with that particular type of plant. If the leaves look dull, dry or yellow, do not continue to use it for the leaves but it can be sprayed on the soil where the plant has been planted, to prevent future insect infestation.
5. Neem leaves hack: The component Azadirachtin which is present in neem is very essential as this extract from the neem tree can disrupt the lifecycle of the insects.
- 2 to 3 handfuls of neem leaves
Method: Wash the neem leaves properly. Then in a pot, add the neem leaves in and water enough to soak the leaves in. Then on high flame, boil it and once it comes to a boil, let it simmer for 5 to 8 minutes. Turn off the flame and let it sit for 24 hours, covered. After 24 hours, you can strain out the leaves and put the neem liquid into a spray can and spray your infected plants with it.