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This week, let’s look at a general pest repellant for the garden. I’m a fan of natural solutions when the science behind them is sound. I’m also a fan of making things yourself whenever possible, because that’s the only surefire guarantee that you know what the ingredients are.

Pest repellant

The intent of this DIY garden pest repellant is to annoy pests like chipmunks, squirrels, and small insects.


  • 2 raw, whole jalapeños
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 leaves of the citronella plant
  • 1 tablespoon of an organic castile soap
  • 100 mL of any clear alcohol, from vodka to rubbing alcohol
  • 750 mL of tap water


  • High speed blender
  • Paper towels or coffee filter
  • Funnel
  • Spray bottle


  • Put all the ingredients in your blender.
  • Blend on high for 45 seconds.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Blend on high again for 45 seconds.
  • Line funnel with paper towels to act as a filter, or use a standard coffee filter.
  • Slowly pour contents through funnel into spray bottle.
  • Spray wherever pests are.
Pest repellant

A cautionary note: while none of these ingredients are toxic to humans, they can be irritating. Never blend hot peppers indoors; always blend outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Know which way the wind is blowing and stand upwind.

You’ll need to re-apply this spray once a week in dry weather and after every rain.

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