Natural alternatives to synthetic chemicals

Page last updated: Thursday, 11 December 2014 - 10:05am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Safety first

When using any pesticide take the following precautions:

  • Wear disposable plastic gloves.
  • Consider whether eye protection is needed.
  • Wash containers and utensils thoroughly after use or, preferably, label an old set and only use these for sprays.
  • Store liquids in glass jars, clearly labelled and out of children’s reach.

Practical considerations

Many alternative pesticides work through direct contact so you need patience and care to achieve good surface coverage. Fungicides need to be applied at the first trace of mildew or rust.

Test on lower leaves first, to see if adverse effects such as burning of foliage occur. Some alternative pesticides may only have a short shelf-life. Sprays should not be used if hot (above 28°C) dry weather is forecast, since this increases the chance of burning.