Garlic is widely regarded as a ‘superfood’, and I’m not even really sure what that means. Whatever it is, the fact is that different scientific research keeps on confirming what the folklore of various cultures have upheld for thousands of years – garlic is good for just about everything.
Despite the fact that it tastes fantastic, and is incredibly healthy for humans, a lot of insects don’t have the same opinions and reactions to it.
While I feel a bit sorry for aphids, etc. that they can’t experience the great joys of garlic, it does make it even more useful to us, because we can make a very effective natural pesticide out of it.
This particular concoction will kill aphids, mosquitos and onion flies amongst other things.
The trickiest bit of this whole process is finding the ingredients. Aside from the garlic you will need fish emulsion and mineral oil.
Fish emulsion is a fertiliser that is produced from the fluid remains of fish that has been processed to make fish oil and fish meal. It is completely organic and has a high nitrogen content.
The biggest problem with fish emulsion is that it comes accompanied by a pretty minging smell. You can buy deoderised versions but they aren’t completely fragrance free.
Fish emulsion is pretty easy to find in any decent garden centre. It’s quite inexpensive and because it is a concentrate a 500ml bottle will last for ages.
I can’t imagine why you’d really want to, but if you would prefer to make your own fish emulsion rather than buying it, then you can find a good article on how to do it by clicking here: Make fish emulsion
Mineral oil is a clear odourless liquid that is a by product of the distillation of oil into petrol. It is used for all kinds of things, from protecting wooden surfaces to medical uses as a laxative or emollient.
It’s really easy to get hold of mineral oil, you can buy it in any pharmacy, most beauty shops, cookware shops, and also in some supermarkets. It’s inexpensive and available in bottles of various sizes. If you have the option, then pay slightly more and get ‘food grade’ mineral oil, you are going to be spraying it on things you might want to eat later after all.
How to make it
- 100g Garlic
- 5ml Fish emulsion
- 30ml Mineral oil
Peel and roughly chop the garlic, put it into a container with the mineral oil and leave it to soak for 24 hours.
Dissolve the fish emulsion in about half a litre of cold water, add the garlic/oil solution to it and stir well.
Strain the liquid through a sieve into a glass container and store it until needed.
The pesticide will keep for quite a while in a cool dark place, but make sure that you don’t store it in a metal container because a chemical reaction will take place.
How to use it
Give the container of pesticide a good shake, because mineral oil is not soluble in water and the mix will have separated while it has been standing.
Dilute your solution with water at a ratio of 1:20.
Spray using a normal plant sprayer, remembering to shake it every so often so that the mineral oil doesn’t separate out.