A network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests.
PestNet is a network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests. It started in 1999. Anyone with an interest in plant protection is welcome to join. PestNet is free and is moderated, ensuring that messages are confined to plant protection.
Pests > Pest Management > Chemical control > “Soft” insecticides > Homemade insecticide, canola oil, sodium bicarb
August 2016. A member from Israel sent information on a homemade insecticide as follows: Canola oil/ rapeseed was once listed as a pesticide, now its used as a cooking oil by millions of people. It really does exterminate insects, and throw in some bicarbonate soda and soapy surfactant, and you have a potent contact spray that is very cheap to produce.Avoid soft leaves in full sun.
A member said that he was very interested to learn a little more about this method because another recent post also mentioned sodium bicarbonate for fungal disease control and grower interest in alternative pesticides seems to be at an all time high in Australia. Methods and quantities were requested.
Apparently, baking soda works on fungi by raising the pH, the oil smothers pests like most horticultural oils. The soap is the surfactant.
Another oil is Pongamia oil, which apparently is a better emulsifier, and actually has some insecticidal properties, but there is little research at the moment regarding safety/insect control. It might be worth investigating because Pongamia is native in Australia and is already grown for biodiesel.
The experience of a member in Palau was given. All these oils kills most pests. The problem encountered was that coconut oil and palm oil burned the plants through the effects of scorching heat and strong winds. Virgin coconut oil scorches less than coconut oil. In places where there is less wind or the wind is predictable, it was suggested to give virgin coconut oil a trial at different dilution rates. Oils are a little tricky as what is given is a ‘standard’ rate or a rule of thumb with rates differing with the crop, the age of the crop, and if the crop is ‘flushing’. Leafy vegetables, young plants, succulent plants and plants experiencing growth flushes/spurts are more inclined to burning from oil.
Citrus oil is also an effective pesticide. Noni pumice is a good insect repellent especially for sweet potato weevil.