Home-made bug spray and a leaf eater caught

  • A few days ago I found big leaf holes in my sunflower leaves. As I looked around I saw a grasshopper type bug eating away and its wings looked like leaves. It was pretty and all, but not in my garden. I slipped a big baggie around it and broke off the leaf from the plant. I relocated him out of my garden, whew. I also found aphids on my bell peppers and have been regularly spraying a home-made bug spray on the tops to keep the aphids at bay. That is the one thing I miss about my winter garden, no bugs! I have never grown zinnias or sunflowers so the process just fascinates me. I will take more pictures soon as the buds are even more pretty today! Wishing you a wonderful day!

    Baking Soda Fungicide Spray
    Baking soda has lots of uses in the garden. Flour and baking soda mixed together can be sprinkled around the garden and on affected plants to deter cabbage worms and aphids. Baking soda can also be used to avoid fungus. It will not cure a current fungus problem, but it can prevent the spread. The same can be said of all natural fungicide sprays. Here’s a make-at-home recipe.

    1 gallon of water

    1 tablespoon of baking soda

    1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

    1 tablespoon of liquid castile soap or natural dishwashing liquid

    Spray lightly on foliage of plants afflicted with fungus or mildew. Avoid over-using or pouring on the soil.

    I found it on this site.


    June 4th, 2013 | 25 Comments |

25 Responses and Counting...

  • Aphids are our enemy, they’re so hard to get rid of too. They give me nightmares! The bad thing about aphids is you have to keep doing this every single day (or hosing them off jet speed) because if you miss a day, they double and then it’s even harder. Oh man, just thinking about them depresses me. We spotted a few the other day on our pumpkin plants, this year it’s our goal to defeat those mean devils.

  • Hi,

    That gren bug looks like a katydid? IF you google the name for images, you will see your culprit. In my garden flowers are planted for bugs. I would rather they chew on them then my garden plants:)


  • Doug,
    Thanks for letting me know! I am not familiar with the names and appreciate your research. Good idea about the flowers.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. Happy gardening to you,

  • Your blogs are so helpful and interesting! I enjoy reading them and seeing the gorgeous pictures. Keep up the good work!

  • I’ll give your home made bug spray a try, I thought it might have been birds as I haven’t seen any bugs other than the odd spider or ant. I was going to drape a netting over the plants.

  • Julie,
    I haven’t draped the net but I have heard that it helps. I have heard about hanging red plastic ornaments on tomato plants to trick the birds. I also learned online about hanging plastic snakes to scare them off. I did try the snakes and found that it helped scare the squirrels off but everytime I saw them I jumped myself. ha!
    wishing you the best in your garden!

  • I have a beautiful garden with my gorgeous sunflowers. Unfortunately my leafs are a meal for a little black bug. I have no idea what they are or how to stop their feasting? Please advise. Thank you so much

  • Tina,
    Hi! I am not familiar with that type of black bug. My best advice is to take the leaf into a local garden center and ask for help there. Many towns have a garden type store that specializes in selling plants and garden supplies. Many bugs are specialized to certain areas, there are so many types. Good luck to you!

  • Hi! Love your blog so I have just planted a sunflower garden about a month ago they are about 3ft tall but there are a ton of bugs eating my leaves. Could I release ladybugs into my garden and they would eat the bugs? I know it works for roses? Thanks

  • I am growing my first garden and have enjoyed all the hard work involved in designing the garden plans, preparing the soil and planting all the plants/seeds…then getting the watering schedules down and pruning and even harvesting a few things. But now I have aphids and they are destroying some of my cucumber and pumpkin plants. I knew what to do and have taken steps to remedy this. But something is GORGING on the leaves of my sunflower plants. I will use your remedy, as I know it is not an aphid problem. I also spread some Diatomaceous Earth around the stalks…I’ll let you know. Mainly, I wrote to tell you how gorgeous your pictures are, even of the leaf-eating bug!

  • wonderful to know ,I hope it works well n safer.

  • But tell us duration,should this be twice a month ?

  • Thank you for your help and advice! Does it have to be this dish detergent, or will any other kind work? Thanks! 😉

  • I think any kind will work!
    good luck!

  • My mothers always used lemon dish soap and water and sprayed her flowers to keep the bugs away. I have tired this on my sunflowers to no avail. The little black bugs are still eating them. Ugh!

  • aphids are completely harmless! you’re worrying about nothing…

  • I have a spotted mildew on my rose bush. Will this be helpful?

  • Ugh I don’t know what’s eating my leaves! It doesn’t seem to be eating my tomatoes. Only bell peppers, cucumbers, and radishes. I”ve tried garlic, vegetable oil, soap, water. I’ve tried baking soda, vegetable oil, soap, water….I don’t want pesticides on my plants!

  • How often do i use this mixture for my sunflowers??

  • I have been raising bug free cabbages and broccoli for years because my mother told me to put 1 cup of liquid soap in 5 gallons of water (5gallon pail) I began this 15 years ago with a tin can that I punched holes in with a nail. Now I own a 1.5 gallon garden pump sprayer. But it isn’t any better then the can except I don’t have to keep dipping and bending. The soap solution keeps in the bucket or sprayer between uses. I use this EVERY time it RAINS or a heavy dew or if I think a bug is near. I’m a bit paranoid about bugs and I’ve lost everything to bugs before when I was lackadaisical about spraying and I refuse to use chemical powders. If you have broccoli in your garden, when you cut in bring it in and soak it in a sink of water and 1 Tablespoon baking soda, if you have green worms in it they will die. Then the broccoli is ok to use. Happy Gardening!

  • My miniture Roe of Sharon. Tree. LEAVES are being eaten by some culprit. I can’t seem to catch him in the act but the evidence He s been there is all over it. The holes are mostly round tho some are long. Only the color of ran or brown is there but not much. It’s mostly just eaten away. Some all the way gone. What is it & what natural remedy can I use?

  • Hello,

    I was looking for “something” that was eating our raspberries, and it appeared to be katydids, looked online for “stuff” against them, and then I found this webpage… For katydids, supposedly Spinosad products meet the OMRI guidelines, and they have a shelf life of 3 years. I am not affiliated with Spinosad products, just sharing what I found… Regarding a home-made, fungicide spray, out here in Central Valley, CA, the horticultural center advises against using sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and generally advises against home made products. The sodium in baking soda is not beneficial to plants… As an organic fungicide, instead, they endorse products containing potassium bicarbonate, such as Kaligreen (85% potassium bicarbonate). This sounds reasonable, since potassium is one of the criteria parameters for fertilizers… So, to that end, maybe a better alternative for a home-made, fungicide spray would then be the same proportions: water, potassium bicarbonate (instead of baking soda), vegetable oil, and liquid castile soap or natural dishwashing liquid… God bless.

  • Potassium bicarbonate is baking soda!

  • Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Potassium bicarbonate is absolutely not. They share certain chemical properties, but sodium is as different from potassium as salt is from pepper.

  • I have used alcohol and water, 50-50, in a spray bottle since 1987 (living in Maryland), and also used it in southwest Colorado for 20 yrs. Works even on roses! Now in southeast PA – my Russian Sage are suffering. What is different?

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