Insecticides are used in most homes, businesses, and farms to control pests, including weeds, fungi, rodents, and even microbial organisms. However, inappropriate use of insecticides can lead to adverse effects to humans and the environment. Exposure to these toxic chemicals remains a significant public health issue. 
So, how do you keep the insects away without being exposed to these potentially harmful substances? In my opinion, the best way to lessen your contact with these chemicals is to use the natural alternatives. There are better choices that are effective and only take minutes to make.
#1 – Salt Spray. This salt solution gets rid of spider mites, caterpillars and other chewing insects. Just mix two tablespoons of salt into a half gallon of warm water.  Don’t apply near plants as salt water may harm them.
#2 – Hot Pepper Recipe. Hot peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, a constituent that gives food a hot sensation. For small insects however, it is considered to be an irritant and a repellent.  Bring a quart of water to a boil then remove from heat before you add half a cup of hot peppers. Cover until cool and strain. Mix with one tablespoon of liquid dish detergent. 
#3 – Citrus Spray. This lemon mixture can repel white flies from your plants. Boil four cups of water, remove from heat and add two cups of lemon peels. Cover the mixture until cool then strain into a s
pray container.  Lemon is also a great way to get rid of those peskymosquitoes. A study has shown that a mixture of lemon and eucalyptus oil effectively wards off mosquitoes for three hours. 
#4 – Dish Detergent & Baking Soda. Baking soda has an active ingredient which combats plant fungi and powdery mildew. When it is eaten by insects, it releases carbon dioxide bubbles that kill the bugs.  Just mix two tablespoons of liquid dish detergent, two tablespoons of baking soda and one gallon of water. 
#5 – Peppermint Essential Oil. A study has verified the effectiveness of peppermint EO against mosquitoes and ants.  Mix one tablespoon of peppermint essential oil to a quart of water and spray around door frames, windows, corners of the ceilings andbathrooms. 
#6 – Neem Spray. A study has revealed that neem oil provides 81-91% protection during a 12 hour period of observation from mosquito bites.  Mix one tablespoon of Neem oil soap shavings into one liter of water. Store inside a spray bottle and shake well before using. 
#7 – Basil Tea. Basil’s strong odor deters some of the insects from your plants. A study has shown the effectiveness of basil leaves in warding off different insects for a couple of hours.  Boil four cups of water then add a cup of fresh basil. If you are using dries basil, mix two tablespoons into the water. When cool, add one table spoon of liquid detergent. 
#8 – Mineral Oil Mix. Mix three parts of mineral oil to one hundred parts of water. This will keep Aphids, Codling Moth, Leaf Roller, Mealybugs, Scaled Insects, White Fly from your plants. 
#9 – Easy Soap Flakes Spray. Soaps provide control of a variety of insect and mite pests such as aphids, thrips, scales and twospotted spidermite that can harm your plants. This is because of the fatty acids contained in the soap which dissolve or remove the insects’ cell membranes and their natural protective waxy coatings, causing death from excess water loss.  Just mix two tablespoons of soap shavings into a quart of water. 
#10 – Garlic tea. Garlic has a pungent smell that insects find unpleasant. It kills insects such as cabbageworms, leafhoppers, whiteflies and squash bugs. It also works against some fungi and some nematodes. Boil a pint of water and throw in a few chopped garlic cloves. Let it cool then strain into a spray bottle. 
For recipes that uses liquid detergent, stay away from those that have added bleach, perfumes and special antibacterial formulas. You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your wellness and that of your family.
 Langley, R.L. (2012) Human exposures to pesticides in the United States. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22732070
 Tweksbury, J. (2008) What Made Chili Peppers So Spicy? http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=93636630
 Frances S.P. (2014) Comparative laboratory and field evaluation of repellent formulations containing deet and lemon eucalyptus oil against mosquitoes in Queensland, Australia. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24772681
 Fagerlund, R. (2009) Baking soda’s other use: controls ants, roaches. http://www.sfgate.com/homeandgarden/article/Baking-soda-s-other-use-controls-ants-roaches-3209302.php
 Barnard, D.R. (1999) Repellency of essential oils to mosquitoes. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10534958
 Mishra, A.K., et. al. (1995) Use of neem oil as a mosquito repellent in tribal villages of mandla district, madhya pradesh. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8936291
 Maia, Marta Ferreira (2011) Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development and testing. https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2875-10-S1-S11
 Cloyd, R.A. (2013)“Soaps” and Detergents: Should They Be Used on Roses? http://www.rose.org/soaps-and-detergents-should-they-be-used-on-roses/
 Ellis, Barbara, et. al. (1996) The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=v5We-H9B4kcC&dq=garlic+spray+insecticide&source=gbs_navlinks_s