Pests and diseases are part of the natural environmental system. The creatures that we call pests and the organisms that cause disease only become 'pest and diseases' when their activities start to damage crops and affect yields. Use of home available & easily prepare remedies will be a very good & cost-effective practice. The main aim of this control method is to use available resources & keep pests & disease under check without harming the beneficial insect’s growth. Once a pest or disease has started to attack a crop, the damage cannot be repaired and control becomes increasingly difficult. Where possible, use techniques to avoid or prevent pest and disease attack in the first place. So, here are some of the home remedies to control pests & diseases that bother our plants.

Home remedies for pest control

Mineral Oil spray:

For those annoying sap-sucking insects such as aphids, thrips, spider mites and whiteflies; create a homemade oil spray using 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 1 cup of cooking oil from a newly open bottle of oil. This concentrated liquid must be mixed with water before use with a ratio of 8 teaspoons of oil mixture to 1 litre of water. Until you are ready to use it, store the concentrated oil mixture in a glass jar in a dark, dry and cool location. Apply a liberal mist of the homemade oil spray to the vegetables once every seven days to thoroughly control the pests. The oil coats the bodies of the insects, effectively suffocating them, as it blocks the pores through which they breathe.

Soap spray insecticide:

A very similar homemade pesticide to the oil spray is a soap spray, which is also effective for controlling mites, aphids, whiteflies, beetles, and other hungry little insects. To make a basic soap spray insecticide, mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of a mild liquid soap with 1000 ml of water, and spray the mixture directly on the infected surfaces of the plants. A soap spray insecticide works in a similar fashion as an oil spray pesticide, and can be applied as necessary

Eucalyptus Oil:

A great natural pesticide with its strong smell & natural repellent habit helps to control flies, bees, bugs and wasps. Simply spray some oil on the plants where you find insects. Make sure you use it regularly.

Onion and Garlic Spray:

Take about one clove of garlic and one medium sized onion. Add some water to them. Let it stay for one hour and then add one teaspoon of cayenne pepper and one tablespoon of liquid soap to the mix. Use it on your plants to ensure no bugs infests on plants. This organic spray will hold its potency for one week if stored in the refrigerator. Make sure you are using the spray once a week to control bugs on your plants.

Mint & Garlic spray


  • 2 whole heads of garlic (cloves separated and peeled)
  • 3 cups mint leaves and stems, too
  • 2 teaspoons dry cayenne pepper
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons of dish wash liquid

Instructions to prepare

  • Add the garlic and mint to a food processor and grind for a few seconds.
  • Transfer mixture to a large pot and add 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper and water.
  • Bring to a boil; remove from heat and let sit overnight.
  • Strain into a couple spray bottles and add the two teaspoons of dish soap.

To Use:

  • Shake well before each use.
  • Spray on all the leaves & on affected plants, including the undersides – preferably on a cloudy day so as not to burn the plants.
  • Wait a few days to see the affect and then apply more if needed at 15 days intervals

Chrysanthemum Flower Tea:

  • These flowers hold a powerful plant chemical component called pyrethrum.
  • Pyrethrum content invades the nervous system and paralyzes flying insects on contact rendering them immobile.
  • You can make your own spray by using 100 grams of dried chrysanthemum flowers into 1 liter of water. Boil dried flowers in water for twenty minutes.
  • Strain, cool, and pour into a spray bottle. Can be stored for up to two months at weekly intervals. You can also add some organic neem oil to enhance the effectiveness.

Tomato leaf spray:

Tomato plants are part of the nightshade family, and as such, contain alkaloids such as the aptly named "tomatine," which can effectively control aphids and other insects. To make tomato leaf spray for a natural insecticide, chop 2 cups of fresh tomato leaves (which can be taken from the bottom part of the plant) into 1000 ml of water, and let steep overnight. Strain out the plant material and spray onto plant foliage. Effectively control sucking pests if used at weekly intervals.

Garlic Oil Spray

It is a great & safe insect repellent. Simply put three to four cloves of mix garlic into two teaspoons of mineral oil. Let the mixture sit overnight, and then strain the garlic out of the oil. Add the oil to 500ml of water, and add a teaspoon of dish wash liquid. Store in a bottle or jar, and dilute the mixture when you use it by adding two tablespoons of your garlic oil mixture to 500 ml of water. This mixture works because the compounds in garlic (namely, Diallyl Ddisulfide and Diallyl Trisulfide) are irritating or deadly to many insects. The oil and soap help the mixture stick to plant leaves. This spray works for Whiteflies, aphids, and most beetles that harm your plants. A word of caution: don't apply this spray on a sunny day, because the oils can cause foliage to burn.

Hot Pepper Spray

It is a great solution if you have problems with mites. Simply mix two tablespoons of hot pepper sauce, a few drops of biodegradable dish soap to 1000ml of water and let it sit overnight. Use a spray bottle to apply the spray to infested plants. It works because the compound capsaicin, which causes the "heat" in hot peppers, is just as irritating to insects as it is to us. This mixture also helps repel whiteflies, but it may have to be reapplied if you start to see the mites or whiteflies returning. Weekly applications are recommended to get rid of sucking pests.


For a hotter kind of pest control in the garden, try mixing 3 litres of water and 3 tablespoons of hot pepper flakes or 10 peppers chopped up finely if you're using fresh peppers. Simmer ingredients in a pan for 15 minutes and then let it sit for 24 hours before straining. Add a couple drops of dish wash liquid to help the solution adhere to your plants. This solution controls sucking pests mainly mites, aphids & whiteflies. Weekly applications are recommended to stop them appearing again.

Diatomaceous earth as a natural pesticide

This natural substance with a somewhat unwieldy name is made from a sedimentary rock created by fossilized algae (diatoms), and which is a rather abundant resource (diatomaceous earth is said to make up 26% of the earth's crust by weight). Diatomaceous earth has a number of uses in and around the home, and acting as a natural insecticide is just one of them. This material works not by poisoning or smothering the insects, but instead by virtue of its abrasive qualities and its affinity for absorbing the lipids (a waxy substance) from insects' exoskeleton, which then dehydrates them to death. To apply, simply dust the ground around your plants, or even sprinkle it on the foliage, where it will help control snails and slugs as well as other crawling insects. Due to its dried nature, in order to be an effective natural pesticide, diatomaceous earth needs to be reapplied after every rain.

Chilli pepper insecticide spray

Similar to garlic spray, chilli pepper spray is a great homemade natural insect repellent that can be used for a variety of different pests. Chile spray can be made from either fresh hot peppers or chilli pepper powder. To make a basic chilli spray from pepper powder, mix 1 tablespoon of chilli powder with 500 ml of water and several drops of mild liquid soap. This mixture can be used full-strength on the leaves of affected plants. To make chilli spray from fresh chilli peppers, blend or puree 1/2 cup of peppers with 1 cup of water, then add 500 ml of water and bring to a boil. Let sit until cooled, then strain out the chilli material, add several drops of liquid soap to it and spray on plants at weekly intervals. Helps to control mainly sucking pests like aphids, mites, whiteflies etc.

Coffee grounds

Critters and ants really do messy in the gardens if not noticed. For ants, coffee grounds are fatal. Caffeine & diterpenes compounds in coffee can be highly toxic to insects & helps to control bugs, mosquitoes, fruit flies & beetles. Try getting rid of bugs by utilizing recycled coffee grounds around your home in the area from which you think the bugs are emerging.

Borax and Sugar Ant Killer

Another trick for dealing with ants is this Home talk- favorite, Borax and sugar trick. This mixture, placed right in the line of the ants' march, will turn your pest problem into a veritable picnic. Just try this solution of 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup very warm water and 2 tablespoons Borax.

Dust Mite Oil Repellent

To prepare dust mite repellent spray, try mixing either Clove, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint or Rosemary oil into a spray bottle of water and use it to mist your bed lightly. Allow the spray to air dry. Mites detest these scents and will stay away from them. For additional pest control, try a mixture of Basil and Lemongrass to not only repel dust mites, but also fleas and lice.

Banana peels & foil

To get rid of aphids in your garden, place chopped up banana peel under the soil line around the stems of your plants. This deters the nasty critters and adds some nutrients to the soil. As an additional trick, to chase aphids from the underside of leaves, place foil around the base of your plant. The light from the sun will reflect off of the foil and onto the underside of the leaves.


Not only great for the compost heap, eggshells also act as fertilizer and pest repellent when added to the bottom of planters before planting. Before sowing vegetable seeds, crush a couple of eggshells, not too finely, and add them to the bottom of the hole. The sharp edges will deter cutworms, and crushed shells around the stem of plants will deter slugs and snails.

Wood ash

Most gardeners who heat their homes with a wood stove have accumulated a bountiful supply of wood ashes. To use wood ash in the garden is a good thing, for the most part. It is a free fertilizer on the other hand, it’s an excellent source to get rid of snails & slugs in the garden. A thin ring of wood ash around vulnerable plants helps control slugs and snails. Moving on the ash makes slugs and snails lose fluid and slime, so they find it difficult to creep along. That is why ash should repel snails & slugs.Ash can be stored easily during the winter months and used during the garden season to fend off slugs and snails.

Epsom Salt Pesticide

Epsom salts can be either be sprinkled around plants or dissolved in water to make a spray. To make a spray, dissolve one cup of salts in five gallons of water, then pour into a spray bottom and apply to any pest-afflicted plants. The salt mixture is especially effective on slugs and beetles. Another option is to sprinkle the salts around the base of the plants every week or so. It will deter pests, and also add magnesium to the soil, which increases the absorption of nutrients by the plants.

Marigold, hot pepper and garlic insecticide spray –

  • Chop marigold leaves and mix in a bucket with a few garlic bulbs (chopped) and some crushed chilies. Add a sprinkle of baking powder and wood ash,
  • Blender and grind for just a few seconds. The mixture should still be chunky.
  • Place in a mason jar and let it sit in a cool dark place for 2 days. Shake occasionally.
  • After the 2 days, strain the mixture out through a cheese cloth squeezing the cheesecloth to get the last of the liquid out.
  • Pour into a plant sprayer and dilute with about 6 cups of water.
  • You can also add 1/4 tsp of liquid soap to help the mixture to stick to your plants.
  • Marigold plants produce a number of potentially bio-active compounds mainly Therthienyl which is recognized as one of the most toxic compound. The sulphur containing compound is abundant in marigold tissues. It has nematicidal, insecticidal, fungicidal, antiviral & cyto-toxic activities & it is believed to be the main compound responsible for insecticidal activity to control pests like aphids, whiteflies, mites, beetles & flies.

Home remedies for disease control

Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew fungi are present in many environments, so that even in the cleanest gardens, outbreaks can begin from spores spread by windblown rain, or on the feet of insects and birds. But when the right strain of powdery mildew finds a suitable host plant, it quickly sinks root-like structures into the cells on the leaf's surface. There is stays, taking nutrition from the leaf while developing a matrix of thread-like structures over the surface. This is when we gardeners notice unusual patches of white or light gray with a powdery or furry texture, usually on the top sides of leaves. For the infected plants, powdery mildew cripples its ability to conduct photosynthesis by blocking out light, and stops up the leaf's gas exchange system, too. Powdery mildew can quickly spread to nearby leaves, so it's always a good idea to clip out leaves that show early spotting. Numerous small studies from around the world have validated the use of milk sprays on powdery mildew on a wide range of plants. A spray made of 40% milk and 60% water was as effective as chemical fungicides in managing powdery mildew on gourds. Milk sprays have proven to be as effective as sulfur and synthetic chemicals in preventing powdery mildew. Proteins in the milk interact with sun to create a brief antiseptic effect. Any fungi present are "burned" into oblivion, but there is no residual effect after that. In order to be effective, milk sprays must be used preventively, must be applied in bright light, and should be repeated every 10 days or so.

Baking Soda Spray for Powdery Mildew

Baking soda on plants causes no apparent harm and may help prevent the bloom of fungal spores. It is a tried-and-true method for preventing powdery mildew on fruits & vegetables. It needs to be applied weekly, but if you have a problem with mildew in your garden, it will be well worth the time. Simply combine one tablespoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of vegetable oil, one tablespoon of dish soap and 1 litre of water and spray it on the foliage of susceptible plants. Baking soda spray works because the baking soda disrupts fungal spores, preventing them from germinating. The oil and soap help the mixture stick to plant leaves. KEY WORDS: Home remedies, pest and disease management, techniques to prevent pests and disease, mineral oil spray, sap sucking insects, soap spray insecticides, how to control powdery mildew using home remedies, baking soda spray, Epsom salt, eggshells as pest repellent, Diatomaceous earth as a natural pesticide, milk spray, Dust Mite Oil Repellent, Chilli pepper insecticide spray, Chrysanthemum Flower Tea as pets repellent, Garlic Oil Spray,

-Manjula. B. M