Friday, April 13, 2012

Simplicity Month...Homemade Natural Insecticidal Soap

The Dervaes Family fascinate me. While living a mere 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, they have created a working homestead that produces 6,000 lbs of organic food each year. And they do this on only a 1/10 of an acre!

They support themselves by growing their own food and selling the surplus to restaurants and neighbors. They raise citified-animals (goats, chickens and ducks) and attempt to live as lightly on the land as possible.

They are living proof that you don't have to a 200 acre farm in the country to be self-sufficient.

Their blog is a constant source of valuable information. Recently, I read a post on how to make "homemade natural insecticidial soap" here.

It's brilliantly simple. Take pure neem oil and mix it with Dr. Bronner's Soap. Spray it on your plants in the early morning or late afternoon.

The chemicals in the neem oil enters the insect's body and disrupts their hormonal system. The insect "forgets" to eat, breed, lay eggs, etc... The neem oil doesn't affect the "good" bugs because a bug has to ingest the oil for it to work. Since, the "good" bugs aren't eating your plants, they are safe!

Just make sure to only spray during the very early morning or late afternoon. If you spray other times, you may accidentally suffocate the "good" bugs.

The spray doesn't immediately kill the harmful insects, so you have to exhibit a bit of patient. But, it seems worth it, doesn't it? Neem oil is even safe enough to even use as bug repellent!

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