I do love to garden, but there are a few pests out there I can do without.
Even though I use many natural pest deterrent practices like companion planting, there are a few tenacious little creatures that will stop at nothing to get to my delicious fruits and veggies.
A natural, yet effective way to keep pests out of your garden is to use hot peppers. Capsaicin, the same chemical in peppers that give it that heat, is an irritant to mammals and some insects.
Now, I will add that hot pepper spray is considered a deterrent to insects and mammals, rather than an insecticide.
Meaning, it won’t kill nasty bugs like squash bugs, aphids, or Japanese bean beetles. It will irritate some soft body insects, but won’t necessarily eradicate them.
However, hot pepper spray is effective in deterring mammals from the garden, like rabbits, squirrels, and deer.
They may seem cute, but they can destroy a garden quickly. Even though the peppers deter the animals, it will not hurt them.
The addition of garlic to this recipe also helps to boost the insect repelling properties of this spray. Garlic has been shown to be useful for deterring aphids, ants, beetles, caterpillars, slugs, whiteflies and more.
Related Reading: How To Make Organic Pesticides – 10 Recipes That Really Work
How To Make A Garlic Hot Pepper Pest Spray
- 6-7 hot peppers (any type will do)
- 1 head of fresh garlic
- 5-quart bucket
- 5 quarts of water
- 3 tablespoons Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap
- 3-gallon garden sprayer
Watch the video to see how I made this Hot Pepper & Garlic Pest Spray and then continue below to see the full step by step photos and written instructions.
Any hot pepper will work for this project. In theory, the higher the Scoville Heat Index, the more effective.
I used jalapenos because that’s what I have growing in the garden at the moment.
Be sure to wear gloves when handling any type of chili pepper. The capsaicin oils will stay on your skin even after washing and can cause irritation, so it’s best to protect your skin before you handle the peppers.
The seeds and white membrane are the very hottest part of the plant.
Chop the hot peppers into smaller pieces and add it to the bucket. Break apart the head of garlic and chop it into smaller pieces and add to it to the bucket.
Pour enough water into the bucket to fill it to almost the top. Let it sit overnight (12-24 hours).
Once the mixture has set overnight, strain it through a strainer and into a garden sprayer. This is the one I use.
Add three tablespoons of Castile soap. The soap will help the spray stick to the plants and will also act as an insecticidal soap to help get rid of some insects such as aphids.
How Often To Spray
Spray plants as needed. Repeat after rain, dew, or heavy humidity. When spraying your pepper mixture, don’t spray into the wind.