Pest Problems

Homemade Pepper Spray Recipe

Homemade pepper spray is a DIY remedy against garden pests that has a decent amount of controversy surrounding it. Some remedy recipes suggest using pepper spray for plants as a way to rid them of insects like whiteflies and aphids.

Most of those recipes have dish soap or some oil added to the mixture. In this way, pepper spray could be effective against the eggs of insects, because the film of soap or oil will prevent the eggs from breathing, thus killing them. There is also an oil present in hot peppers that further helps the effect.

However, if your goal is to treat insect infestation in your garden, you shouldn’t rely on using pepper spray alone, because there are other remedies like neem oil garden spray that will prove far more effective.

On the other hand, if you are dealing with a mammal indulging in the fruits of your hard labour, cayenne pepper spray for garden pests could be the solution to your needs. The logic behind this, you may think, is that the spicy taste of chilli peppers will deter different pests.

The truth, however, is that insects don’t have the receptors to feel this heat. The element behind the burning sensation caused by hot peppers is called Capsaicin. Capsaicin is hydrophobic, colourless and it has a highly pungent smell and taste. Those are related to its effectiveness against mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, stray cats and others. So, if you are dealing with any of the above-mentioned pests, continue reading and learn how to make your homemade pepper spray.

Table of Contents:

You will find this useful if:

  • You are a beginner gardener;
  • You have rodents in your garden;
  • Your neighbours’ pets are ruining your plants.

What you need to make your own pepper spray for plants

There are different recipes on the internet and choosing the right one will depend on how you intend to use the pepper spray and against what threat. We would go for a deterrent that will keep your vegetables safe from rats, rabbits, birds, cats or other wildlife animals.

What you need:

  • Black pepper – 1 tablespoon;
  • Chilli powder – 1 tablespoon;
  • Couple of hot peppers – 2 or 3;
  • Vegetable oil – 2 tablespoons;
  • Hot water – two litters;
  • Sieve;
  • Mixing container;
  • Garden sprayer – 2L (or bigger, but you should increase the dose).

How to prepare your homemade pepper spray


  1. Put the chilli peppers into a blender together with the vegetable oil and the spices. Puree the ingredients for a couple of seconds.
  2. Store the puree for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator. This will increase the effectiveness and potency of the Capsaicin.
  3. After that, you can transfer the puree into a bigger container and add hot water.
  4. Stir the mixture well and be careful, as it might be irritating to your eyes, mouth and nose.
  5. Strain it through a sieve or a piece of cloth. There shouldn’t be any pieces, which can clog your sprayer’s nozzle.
  6. Label the bottle with the date and store it in the refrigerator until you need it.

How to apply your homemade pepper spray on your plants

You should use the spray in the evening when the sun is not as strong. Take your garden sprayer and coat the foliage of the plants. You can spray the mixture on the bark of fruit trees to stop rabbits from chewing on them, as well.

Be extra careful while spraying. If the pepper spray gets into your eyes it will burn like hell. Wear gloves when working with the spray. A pair of glasses wouldn’t hurt.

Re-apply the mixture once or twice a week. If there was rain the previous day, you should spray your plants afterwards.

Remember not to use it on blooming plants, because Capsaicin is toxic to bees. And if you have sprayed your salads or fruits and veggies, make sure you wash them well before cooking with them.

You can test DIY pesticide to treat your plants. However, when it comes to your home you should be more thorough. If you suspect that your property is under attack by pests, it is best to call in a professional. Benefit from an inspection, at least. Giving the critters enough time to settle in will only make it harder and more expensive to get rid of them later on.

Suspect there is a pest infestation going on in your home? Get adequate treatment from seasoned exterminators.


  • Pepper spray is not so effective against insects;
  • Use pepper spray against birds and mammals instead;
  • Be very careful not to touch your face after using the pepper spray.


Have you tried homemade pesticides before? Were they effective? Where and how have you applied them? Share your experience with us in the comment section!

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