Easy Organic Garden Bug Repellant

by Daisy

See those aphids? They killed that plant. But I mixed up some voodoo and I haven’t seen one since.

Allium Tea
6 cloves garlic
1 onion
1qt warm water
3T liquid soap* (not detergent)

Buzz first three in blender. Add soap. Steep overnight and strain. Spray directly on bugs as a killer or use in the mix below.

*If you don’t have homemade or Liquid Ivory handy, just blend a bar using the technique in this post (minus the oil) or melt it using the technique in this or this post.

Bug-Away Spray
1 fertilizer hose end attachment
1c liquid soap (not detergent)
1c allium tea
1c antiseptic mouthwash*

Fill hose end attachment. Set for 20 gallons. Hose down plants every two weeks, after any rain, or just when you feel like hacking off some bugs. This makes enough to probably last you through the summer.

*Mine has worked fine even without the mouthwash.

Now, if you’re a fan of companion planting, I recommend this: Put all ingredients except the allium tea in the hose end attachment. Do the asparagus, garlic, and legumes with that. Then add the cup of allium tea and spray the rest.

If you get hooked on mixing potions and want to be up to your eyeballs in them, this book and this book are my two favorites.


Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate.
Heidi June 3, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Thank you!
This can’t work worse than the toxic stuff I tried last year that didn’t work at all.

ivorysoap76 June 4, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Natural anything is better than toxic nothing!

nancy June 6, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Got any “cures” for flies? There seem to be more this year than ever before! I don’t want to chase away the butterflies or bees, but these flies have GOT to go!!


CharlysGardenPlace June 7, 2009 at 6:28 pm

I tried to email you with this question, but was using a different browser & emailer… not sure if it worked.
I’m wondering if you have a pest repellant for humans and animals? Something that really works!
We have mosquitoes and nasty little black flies that BITE – worse than he mosquitoes! Drive the dogs crazy, too. The bottled-store-bought stuff only works for a little while, and has to be sprayed heavy.
Any ideas?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Organic Soap June 8, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Most people have a really hard time fighting off bugs in the summer. Some bug repellents just don’t work from some people’s blood chemistry. That means that it is up to us to try and find one that doesn’t use harmful chemicals but can still do the job. Using organic products to produce a bug repellent would be the next step for the organic movement to hit mainstream audiences!

ivorysoap76 June 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm

This one isn’t meant for your skin, just your plants, but we have a skin one coming out soon!

Charlotte July 16, 2009 at 6:34 am

Thank you so much>> going to make my steep overnight mix now!! I live in a forest on a mountain, we are also an animal preserve, so have to I garden thirty feet in the air on my deck and the bugs found me this year…

bless you

Angie's Frugal House November 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm

For humans and dogs the SSS from Avon works for long periods of time, for my family. But as someone stated blood chemistry may play a part in the effectiveness of the product.

Stacey Petersen May 21, 2012 at 6:50 am

I’m a city girl new to country living. I’m trying my hand at organic gardening. Actually this is the 3rd year of trying. I’m looking forward to trying your bug repellent recipe for my garden.

Flying September 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Where to get allium tea?

Karen May 16, 2013 at 1:31 am

Will Castile soap work in this instead of Ivory?

Daisy May 16, 2013 at 5:24 am

Karen–Yes, that’d be great.

Karen May 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Thank you!

Karen Holroyd May 4, 2014 at 11:32 am

We just planted a rose bush in memory of our friend and housemate who passed away recently. The squirrels are already diggin in the dirt and burying their stuff. Any ideas of organic deterrents for this?

Daisy May 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Karen Holroyd–So sorry about your friend. A rose is a lovely tribute. I’ll research this some more, and hopefully someone else may chime in, but off the top of my head, have you considered “mulching” with something like lava rocks that would be unpleasant to dig in? I’ve had mixed results with deterrent sprinkles, but I suppose it works for some. It’s sold at the home center with the bug sprays and it has capsaicin in it usually. Also, go to one of the garden forums like Dave’s garden and do a search on squirrel deterrents. They always have a lot of real-life advice.

Karen Holroyd May 5, 2014 at 5:39 am

Thank you so much Daisy, I will check that site, I also did hear of using hot pepper flakes and mulch. thanks again!

Jessica May 9, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Where can you find allium tea? Or is there something similar. I looked at the grocery and didn’t see it

Kerry June 19, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Is this recipe safe for beneficial bugs, such as ladybugs?

Andrea July 20, 2014 at 7:52 am

Have you tried this on mites? I would love to spray my chicken shed.

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