Homemade Remedies for Pests and Diseases

Yeast bait traps

Used for: slugs/snail

How to make:

  • Fresh beer – the cheaper the better
  • Or:
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon flour
    • 1⁄2 tsp granular yeast

Mix well and place in a clean cottage cheese/yogurt container with holes cut out about 1” down from the lip. Place lid on top. Nest in soil about 1⁄2” below hole openings. Place a rock on top to keep from flipping over. Check every day and pour out and slugs/snails or liquid inside. Refresh with new solution.

Sticky traps 

White or yellow most common. Some insects attracted to red or blue as well. Sticky traps are useful for monitoring to determine the problem on a plant. Traps may also attract beneficial insects as well.

Used for: Flea beetles, whiteflies, aphids, thrips, leafminers, fungus gnats

How to make:

Cut a rectangular piece of yellow heavy card stock. Punch a hole near the top, thread a piece of string through for hanging. Spread both sides with Tanglefoot or petroleum jelly. Wear disposable gloves when using Tanglefoot.

Garlic oil spray

Used for: fungicide as well as against aphids, whiteflies, squash bugs, leafhoppers.

How to make:

  • 3-4 oz minced garlic
  • 6 tsp mineral oil
  • 3 tablespoons of castile soap
  • 1 pint water

Combine garlic and oil in a container and let sit for 24 hours. Add water and soap. Strain all through several layers of cheesecloth or old pantyhose. Store in a jar in the refrigerator until ready to use. Shake mixture thoroughly; add 2 teaspoons per pint of water. Spray on leaves. Check for damage. Avoid spraying during hot part of day.

Ammonia Spray

Used for: slugs/snails, aphids, flea beetles, thrips, whiteflies, scale

How to make:

  • 1 part household ammonia
  • 7 parts water

Combine in a spray bottle and apply to all surfaces of leaves. Check for burn.

Baking soda spray

Used for: powdery mildew

How to make:

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp liquid dish soap
  • 1 gallon water

Thoroughly spray all leaf surfaces. May need to apply weekly.

Hot pepper spray

How to make:

  • 6 hot peppers
  • 3 tbsp mineral oil
  • 3 tbsp non-detergent dish soup

Using gloves, finely mince the pepper. Combine with the mineral oil in a jar. Allow to soak 48 hours. Add a pint of water and 3 tbsp soap. Strain to remove the peppers; store in a covered jar in the refrigerator. To use add 2 tablespoons to a pint of water in a spray bottle. Spray in the early morning or evening. Spray on a few leaves to check for plant sensitivity. Avoid spraying in your eyes or on your hands.

Gopher baskets


  • 1⁄4” hardware cloth Zip ties.
  • gloves


  1. Cut a piece of hardware cloth about 14” x 20”
  2. Using gloves form into a circle. Overlap by about 1” and fasten with zip ties. Fold the bottom in to completely enclose the base.
  3. Set in soil with at least 2”-3” protruding above the soil. Plant vulnerable plants inside the basket with additional soil.

Note: some directions for gopher baskets suggest using chicken wire. 1⁄4” hardware cloth has smaller openings to deter even small rodents.

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