Wednesday, May 8, 2013

All Natural Bug Repellant

The ants come marching one by one hurrah, hurrah.  The ants came marching one by one, then ten by ten, then lots of ants.  They came, and they came, and they came!

macro insects 7When we bought our house a few years ago it was the beginning of spring.  Birds were chirping and leaves were growing, and in no time at all ants came first one and then many, into our home.

The door to the deck was a prime spot, followed by the bathrooms around the toilet and tub, and finally they found the kids bedrooms (where food was taken when they wanted to sneak off with something :).

The first two years I didn't know much about getting rid of ants.  I tried a few things I had heard of like chalk lines.  The ants marched right over the chalk.  Ant traps by the door and windows helped a bit, but not totally.

It's been awhile so I can't remember what else I tried, but it got to the point where I felt like I had to spray the nasty chemical stuff to get rid of them.  I'm admittedly a bit of a clean freak and having ants marching all over just grosses me out.

The second year they got really bad in my daughters bedroom.  She had repeatedly snuck sugary food items into her room and had ants marching all over the place.  I could not get rid of them!  I tried for over a month or more, and finally had to just spray her carpet to get rid of them.  I still cringe just thinking about that spray.

Thank God I finally found Neem oil!  This oil rocks so hard it should be a rock band.  It truly is that amazing!   I don't remember how I found it, maybe googling something, but it has worked beyond my expectations.

To use it I simply put drops along the edge of the door, and other areas bugs can come in, and it keeps them out completely!  I didn't have even one single ant cross into my home after that.

Today I applied our door dose for this year.  It has a funny smell, sort of like peanuts, but it goes away after a couple of days.  Nothing too bad.

As I was using it fully concentrated I've wondered if there was a way to dilute it into a spray and make it stretch a bit further.  After a little research I now happily have a homemade insecticide and pesticide spray that is all natural, and only requires a small amount of neem oil.

Before I share the recipe it would probably be helpful for me to share why neem oil is so awesome, and what it actually does to rid your home and garden of bugs.

Known in the tropics for its pest repellent abilities, neem oil comes from the fruit and seeds of the neem evergreen tree.  To get the best quality shop for cold pressed oil, so that it isn't interfered with chemically and hasn't been heated beyond what's absolutely necessary for getting the oil out.

The active ingredient in neem oil is azadirachtin.  This ingredient drives many pests away.  Its most amazing feat comes from what it does to those that eat it.  The neem oil causes those insects to lose their desire to eat, stop having off spring, changes their behavior patterns, any eggs that are layed die, and kills the bugs off naturally.

Little Tomato
When neem oil is sprayed on plants it causes the bugs that are good for the plants to be safe, because they don't eat the plants.  However, for the bugs that try to eat the plant they face all the damage from azadirachtin, while protecting the plants.

When purchasing I'd also recommend going organic if you have an organic garden.  Organic neem oil won't have the pesticides, sprayed on it before pressing, that you're trying to avoid.

To make the insecticide spray simply take:

A spray bottle
2 cups of warm water
1/8 tsp. of liquid soap (like Dr. Bronner's)
1/2 tsp. of neem oil

Mix the first 2 ingredients together in the spray bottle and shake them to mix.  Then add the neem oil and shake to mix.  Shake before each time of spraying.

Apply neem oil every 7 days to the top and bottom of plant leaves early in the morning or in the evening.  It may take up to 2 weeks to see longer lasting results.

As neem oil effects the hormones of insects, women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid direct contact with it, as a precaution.

I like the Neem Aura Naturals brand of neem oil.  It's organic, cold pressed, and only $7.39 at
They're a great source for a lot of products, and only charge $4.99 for shipping, with free shipping for over $49 orders.

Let me know how well it works for you.  :)


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