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By Luke Sumpter

These organic pesticides will stop cannabis pests in their tracks.


1. Neem oil is effective at killing bugs
2. Garlic targets pests, but spares ladybugs
3. Tomato leaves contain aphid-killing alkaloids
4. Essential oils will send pests running

Cultivators need to be on the lookout for pests when growing outdoors. No matter where in the world you are, there will be many forms of insects, animals, and fungi waiting to chow down on your crop.

There are several preventative measures that growers can take to stop infestations from taking hold. Companion planting is used to deter insects and distract them from weed plants, and beneficial insects can be introduced to hunt down and eliminate pest species.

When these systems fail or haven’t been implemented, it doesn’t take long for pests to lay waste to a cannabis crop. An effective way to save plants from being destroyed is to administer insect repellents. It’s common within agriculture for farmers to use chemical pesticides and fungicides to do the job. These chemicals work, but come at a price. Many pesticides are linked to health issues in humans and end up washing into the waterways where they cause harm to wildlife and the environment. Plus, do you really want to smoke weed that’s been sprayed with pesticides?

By making your own insect repellent at home, you can use natural substances that combat pests without damaging your health or the environment.


Neem oil is commonly used as a biopesticide by organic farms and is effective against a whole host of pests, including aphids, whiteflies, mites, fungus gnats, and leaf miners. Neem oil can also control fungal infections such as powdery mildew. Unlike synthetic pesticides, neem oil doesn’t damage surrounding wildlife such as honeybees, ladybirds, mammals, and birds.

Neem seeds contain the chemical azadirachtin, which occurs in volumes of 0.2–0.4%. This molecule works as an antifeedant and repels feasting insects and grazing animals. To make neem spray, you’ll need to source a high-quality oil. Try and find a product that is 100% pure, cold-pressed, and free of additives.


  • 5ml neem oil
  • 1 litre water
  • 2ml organic liquid soap


Simply add 5ml of neem oil to 1 litre of water. You’ll also need to add 2ml of organic liquid soap to allow the oil to mix with the water. Transfer the solution into a spray bottle and apply to affected plants.

Neemazal - Neem Oil

Neem oil serves as a completely natural way to protect your cannabis plants against pests.

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Garlic is used as a biopesticide within agriculture and has a broad spectrum of use. Several constituents within the cloves have been identified as potent insecticides. Garlic works well to deter pests whilst leaving beneficial species like ladybugs unharmed. To make a garlic-based spray, follow the recipe below.


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon organic liquid soap
  • 2 litres water
  • Cheesecloth


Blend the garlic cloves with a splash of water and leave to infuse for a day. Strain the liquid using a piece of cheesecloth and add the garlic water, olive oil, and soap to 1 litre of water. Scoop up 1 cup of the solution and add it to the remaining litre of water. Fill up a spray bottle with this solution and apply to plants as required.


Tomatoes seem like innocent plants. They produce bright red, tasty fruits and smell magnificent. But the leaves are a different story. Tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family alongside the notorious belladonna plant. Although far less poisonous, tomatoes carry the family name with the chemicals in their leaves. This part of the plant contains alkaloids that can fight back hoards of hungry aphids.


  • 2 cups chopped tomato leaves
  • 4 cups water
  • Cheesecloth


Add 2 cups of chopped tomato leaves to 2 cups of water and set to soak overnight. Strain the water through a piece of cheesecloth to remove the spent leaves. Add another 2 cups of water to dilute the solution. Fill up a spray bottle and spray on aphids to stop them in their tracks.

Homemade repellent


Essential oils are potent plant extracts rich in terpenes. These aromatic molecules are produced by plants to defend against hungry insects in nature. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that a spray composed of essential oils would work well to deter pests. The essential oil from peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary are among the most potent. This natural insect repellent is particularly effective against aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, and ants.


  • 1 teaspoon eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary essential oil
  • 1 litre warm water
  • ½ teaspoon organic liquid soap


Mix all 3 essential oils together in a small bottle and shake well. Scoop up ½ teaspoon of this mixture and add to 1 litre of warm water. Add ½ teaspoon of organic liquid soap to emulsify the solution. Spray on affected plants to deter the pests mentioned above.