This Safe Homemade Insecticide is concocted from tobacco tea, brown mouthwash and lemon dish soap. The recipe I use is below:
Adapted from an old Jerry Baker recipe, I have used this recipe for years to clean my house and yard of every kind of buggy pest you can imagine. (Please don’t spray the dog – spray the yard!)
In earlier centuries, tobacco was widely used as a powerful insecticide. During the 20th century, with some concerns over a possible disease tobacco might infuse into the soil, more emphasis was put on chemical insecticides to replace it.
However, according to ACS: Chemistry for Life, tobacco and nicotine are “getting new scientific attention as a potential mass-produced alternative to traditional commercial pesticides.”
For me over the years, it has been a wonderful remedy to some pesky infestations. Here are a few of them:
- Dust mites in my dad’s old stuffed chair
- Flea infestations in areas of carpet
- A borer/caterpillar infestation in my grove of poplar trees
- Mosquitoes (Make sure to spray inside old tires and other places where water collects.)
- Chiggers (Do a couple of times mid-spring, 2-3 weeks apart; do again in the fall)
- Ticks (The same routine as for chiggers. The younger the ticks, the better success in eradicating them.)
- Spiders (All kinds; only 1 kind it doesn’t seem to work as well with is the common household spider. I identify it from the round, bulby abdomen, and you often see black spots on the floor below their web. All other types of spiders will die within seconds or minutes.)
- Wasps (Wait until after dark to spray these guys – they get angry reeeeal fast and may sting you before you even see them coming. But they move much slower after dark.)
** Please don’t spray honey bees if you don’t have to. We need all of those we can get.** It’s important to know that if they come searching for nectar in flowers that have been sprayed with any insecticide, natural or chemical, they could be affected.** The same is true for ladybugs, lacewings and other beneficial insects. ***
- Ants (You can pour the solution right down the anthill; it may take several applications. It absolutely will kill the ants it touches, but those off in tunnels who don’t get touched will move and abandon that hill.
Hose-End & Hand-Held Garden Sprayers
Nowadays, I keep a handheld sprayer bottle of this amazing bug killer close by at all times. Twice each spring I use a hose-end sprayer on my grass, bushes, and trees to wipe out the family line of any and all creepy crawlies.
It is a good idea to also spray around the foundation of the house.
Then I do it again in the fall.
For indoor use, it is a terrific and chemical-free* pesticide – the best I have ever used. Not to mention cheaper!
A NOTE OF CAUTION!!
Tobacco was used as a powerful insecticide during the 19th century and earlier. Today scientists have learned that tobacco can pass on a virus called tobacco mosaic virus to certain plants and could possibly live in the soil for years.
So I should say: it is not encouraged to use this spray on certain crops, i.e. tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, petunias, or anything in the nightshade family. On rare occasions, it could set up a virus in the soil.
Personally I have used this spray for 20 years without a hint of trouble, even in my vegetable gardens. It is up to you to decide how extensively to use it in your gardens.
Keep a spray bottle in the house, one in the barn and another in the garage or shed. I guarantee it will kill most any bug within seconds. No matter how fast their little legs move, they can’t run away quick enough!
* This article was written about my own personal experience with this tobacco insecticide spray. It is not intended to be taken as advice, merely as my account and experience. Not responsible for damages.
* Of course, as anyone knows, mouthwash, dish soap, etc. contain chemicals. And used under inappropriate circumstances can be deemed dangerous. So, technically, the term “chemical-free” as I use it here is not strictly “chemical-free.”