Herbal Insect Avengers

By Nicole Duncan

Certain oils in mint, clove, rosemary, sage, and thyme are safe for humans but deadly to pesky aphids and mites. To make an herbal pesticide for a small window garden, mash 1 to 2 cups of fresh leaves with a pestle. Fill a spray bottle with 2 to 4 cups of water, mix in the herbs, and let it sit overnight so the essential oils infuse the water. A too-potent solution can actually kill plants, so spray just a leaf or two first to see if they wilt or look unhealthy after a few days; dilute your solution if necessary. Spray in the morning or evening: Oils lose efficacy when applied during the hottest and brightest parts of the day. And because organic pesticides break down more quickly than their synthetic counterparts, you’ll have to respray every two to four weeks.