I have been asked by many readers to post my recipe for the garden garlic spray that I use as an indiscriminate insect deterrent- emphasis on deterrent. It doesn’t kill insects (save for the sacrificial earwigs in the recipe), it just makes the garden so inhospitable the insects move on to a more suitable garden space. So gather your ingredients and plug your nose. It’s a real stinker.
Chuck’s Organic Insect Deterrent | All-Natural Garlic Spray
- garlic – 2 cloves, crushed
- anchovy – 1, ground up (may substitute 1 teaspoon of ground tuna)
- soy sauce – 1 tablespoon
- cayenne pepper – 1 tablespoon (may substitute chili powder)
- vegetable oil – 2 teaspoons
- Dawn hand-renewal dish soap – a few drops (may substitute any NON anti-bacterial variety)
- water – 2 cups
- earwigs (yes, really) – 2 tablespoons, ground up (approximately 10-12 earwigs)
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the garlic, anchovy, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, and two cups of water and mix it all up. Set aside.
2. (optional, but highly recommended) Place earwigs in a paper bowl filled with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. With the back of a spoon or the bottom of a glass jar, grind them up into a paste.
3. Add earwig paste to the ingredients in the small mixing bowl and mix well.
4. Using a funnel, transfer concoction into a spray bottle. Add a few drops of NON anti-bacterial dish soap to the spray bottle. (anti-bacterial dish soap can kill desirable microbes on the plant stem and leaves, weakening the plant’s ability to survive in the garden.)
5. Cap the spray bottle and let it stand at room temperature for 12 hours, or overnight.
After the contents of the spray bottle have steeped for 12 hours, it is ready for use. If you are concerned that the bits of anchovy, garlic and earwigs will clog the spray hose, strain the contents through cheese cloth and discard the bits (or re-use them in a new batch.) Pour strained liquid back into spray bottle.
For Use in the Garden:
Open spray nozzle to “mist” setting and apply liberally to the stems and leaves of your plants. Spray the soil around the base of the plant. Avoid spraying directly on what you intend to harvest. If you harvest within 24 hours of application, wash vegetables well in cool, running water.
NOTE: Your garden may stink for a few hours after application. Avoid watering the garden for several hours after application.