Pest Control

Insect Knockout Salsa Spray


Santa Barbara gardener and author Kathleen Yeomans has a favorite spray that she finds most helpful for any insects bothering her plants. She said that this homemade salsa which is just a little stronger than the salsa you eat can paralyze those pesky little insects ranging from ants to black widow spiders by knocking them out and/or even killing them.

To make about 3 cups of this insect knockout salsa which can help you get rid of insects, you will need the following ingredients:

2 pounds of ripe, blemished
(Many insects avoid tomatoes, so the unmistakable tomato odor signals roving insects to look elsewhere.)
1 large onion(Onions help give the salsa an extra aromatic kick which deters insects, and the sulfur in them may suppress some fungal diseases)
1 pound fresh chili peppers(Hot peppers are loaded with fiery capsaicin, which gives a chemical burn to marauding mammals and some soft-bodied insects.)
2 cloves garlic(Crushed garlic contains allicin, the smelly compound that confounds the sensory receptors of insects in search of a tasty plant feast)
1 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Once you have gathered the ingredients needed to make this knockout salsa spray which control or kills insects, you will need a food processor or blender, cheesecloth or coffee filters, and a pump spray bottle to make and use the salsa.

How To Make the  Knockout Salsa That Paralyzes Insects

1. Roughly chop up the tomatoes, onion, peppers, and the garlic.

2.  Place the chopped vegetables in a food processor or a blender and blend until liquefied.

3.  Add vinegar and pepper to the mixture

4. Strain the mixture through several layers of cheesecloth or a disposable coffee filter.

5. Pour the strained liquid into the pump spray bottle.

6. Spray the liquid directly on insects that you spot in your garden.

Note of Caution: Since this salsa contains hot peppers, it can be highly irritating if it gets into your eyes or mouth, so spray when there is no wind.

If Kathleen says that this spray makes ants pass out cold, and it has actually killed a black widow spider, it’s definitely worth your while to try it to get rid of insects that are eating your plants — vegetables or flowers.

Source: Great Garden Formula by Joan Benjamin and Deborah L. Martin, Editors

Other relevant articles:

Garlic Spray Recipe

Homemade Fruit Tree Spray

All these sprays can help you kill and/or get rid of insects.

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