Chillies contain a compound called Capsaicin which is responsible for the heat we feel when we eat them. A useful spray can be made from chilli peppers and the capsaicin it contains deters caterpillars and maggots from plants that have been treated.
1/2 cup of fresh chillies
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of washing up liquid
strainer, muslin or coffee filter to strain solution
How to make:
Mash or chop up your chillies and put in a preserving jar or bowl.
Pour over 2 cups of water.
Cover and leave to steep overnight.
Strain the infusion the next day.
Add washing up liquid to strained chilli solution.
Fill spray bottle.
How to use:
Spray plants as soon as pests appear to keep numbers down. Pay particular attention to stems and the under side of leaves. Use only when pests are visible and re-apply after rain.
If you don’t have fresh chillies you can substitute with 1 tablespoon of Tabasco or hot chill sauce.
If you prepare the solution and don’t strain it you can use it as a drench around the base of plants to deter ants as well as larger pests such as rabbits and possums.
NB: Avoid contact with skin and eyes.
Label solution and date it.
Keep solution out of reach of children and pets.
Wash any treated produce before eating
Test solution on one or two plants before widespread use.
Wear appropriate protective clothing during use.
Wash your hands after use.