DIY Hot Pepper Insect Repellent

Having problems with your squash, zucchini, cucumber, or melon plants being ravished by insects? Squash bugs or squash beetles are likely to blame.

Squash bugs and squash beetles are not exactly the same, but they have similar appetites for these vegetables and devastating effects on your garden. 

These insects can destroy a squash, cucumber, or melon plant in a day’s time. They can even spread bacterial wilt, which causes the vines to rapidly wilt and die.

Getting Rid of Squash Bugs, Squash Beetles, and other Harmful Insects

One of the most effective ways to get rid of squash bugs and beetles is to go out during the day when you can easily see them on the plants and pick them off by hand. The downside to this, of course, is that it’s extremely time consuming and tedious. It’s also not for the squeamish – you know, if you have a thing against bugs.

So here’s our dilemma: we want to get rid of the insects without killing them or our precious garden. 

The solution: all natural DIY hot pepper spray to deter garden pests.

All Natural Garden Pest Repellent 

This DIY hot pepper spray has saved my garden from desolation at the hands of these little buggers on numerous occasions. It’s 100% natural, and safe for your plants, animals, and the surrounding environment. These pests simply don’t like it, and will stay away. Think about it, I wouldn’t want to live or lay eggs in a bed of hot pepper spray either!

You can spray this insect repellent directly on your plants to get rid of squash bugs and beetles. The best time to apply it is at night or first thing in the morning, while the insects are relatively inactive and the harsh sun has yet to get to the leaves. The goal is to force the existing pests off of the plants, prevent them from laying eggs there, and to prevent new bugs from being attracted to the plants in the first place. 

Like any repellent, it’s not guaranteed to be 100% effective, but it sure does reduce the amount of squash bugs and beetles, and leaves you with more of your fruits and vegetables.

For the best results, spray this on your plants every 2 to 3 days, or after a rain.

Hot Pepper Insect Repellent Recipe


  • 6 Cups Water
  • 2 Hot Peppers (any pepper will work – cayenne or habanero seem to work well)
  • 1 Tbsp. Organic Canola Oil


  1. Chop up the hot peppers and add them to a jar. Thoroughly crush them to release as much of their juices as possible.
  2. Add 2 cups of water to the jar of peppers, then allow to sit overnight.
  3. Strain the pepper pieces from the pepper water, reserving only the water.
  4. Pour the pepper water into a spray bottle.
  5. Add the canola oil and the remaining 4 cups of water.
  6. Shake the solution well before each use.
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  1. We will try this formation on squash and cucumber leaves in Community garden garden. Do you suggest a couple of drops detergent(dish washing) as spreader sticker

    We have had issues with cucumber beetle and squash bug. Does this help on potato beetle?

    • Hello Mari! You could definitely add a couple drops of dish soap to this spray. I’ve had good results with a mix of pepper and soap sprays in deterring a variety of insects. We just recommend to be sure the soap you use is all natural, and a little goes a long way!

      I haven’t personally used this spray for potato beetles, but it’s definitely worth a try. If you do, please let us know how it works out!


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