Homemade Hot Pepper Spray To Deter Garden Pests

8 Materials
30 Minutes

Hot peppers contain a compound called capsaicin which is an irritant to mammals and many garden pests. That makes this homemade organic spray brilliant at keeping rabbits, squirrels, deer and more out of your garden and away from your plants - whilst also protecting against insects such as aphids, squash bugs and Japanese bean beetles.

Gather all of your ingredients. You'll need a handful of hot peppers (I used jalapenos since I already grow them in the garden), one head of garlic, 3 tablespoons Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap and water.

You'll also need a 5 quart bucket and a garden sprayer, plus rubber gloves for handling the chilis and a sharp knife for chopping.

Chop your chilis into smaller pieces and add to the bucket. Break open the garlic and slice each clove in half and add to the five gallon bucket. Fill with water.

Allow to sit overnight and strain the liquid through a sieve or strainer. Add three tablespoons of Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap and pour the resulting liquid into your garden sprayer. The Castile soap helps the liquid stick to your plants.

Spray your plants as required. Be sure to respray after rain, dew or heavy humidity. Avoid getting the liquid on your skin and especially in your eyes.

If you liked this, then you might like to read our total guide to getting rid of pests in the garden: How To Make Organic Pesticides: 10 Recipes That Really Work

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Frequently asked questions

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3 of 21 questions
  • Lori Lori on Jun 28, 2019

    Is this safe to use if you have dogs ?

  • Virginia-Ted Rye Virginia-Ted Rye on Jul 03, 2019

    Would Dawn soap work in place of the castile soap?

  • R R on Jul 12, 2019

    Doesn't this kill the plants or damage the leaves?


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3 of 5 comments
  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jun 07, 2019

    Great idea! May I ask if the garden produce will absorb any if the capsaicin, soap or garlic?

  • Patrice Paige Patrice Paige on May 31, 2020

    OMG, please do NOT use hot pepper anything for pest control. Wildlife can get that stuff in their eyes and literally scratch their eyes so badly they can go blind. It can also damage your pets eyes if they get into it.

    • Christina Christina on Oct 21, 2021

      This is very safe for animals. The only way to get it in their eyes is if they get sprayed directly in the face, which I would hope, no one is stupid enough to do. The spray works because the pepper smell makes them sneeze so that they move on instead of destroying the plants.