Well I have been inundated with aphids on a few of my bushes and so its time to get out the home made solutions. I rarely spray anything chemical around my garden. I have found the following recipes to be satisfactory in the most part though really the best way to control these garden pests is to have better garden biodiversity by planting both companion and sacrificial plants but these remain longer term plans at the moment.
Bug Spray #1
8 cups water
1 cup Dish liquid
1 cup Listerine mouth wash
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Mix together the above ingredients in an empty gallon sized orange juice or milk container. Pour some of it into an empty spray bottle and apply to plants as needed. It is best to spray it in the morning, before the plants are hit by direct sun, which may cause burning due to the alcohol contained in this mixture.
I have found this recipe to be effective but only use it when I know it is going to be an overcast day as in summer it just gets too hot.
Bug Spray #2
Liquid dish soap
This is a variation of the first recipe, but contains only water and dish soap. This spray is particularly effective for controlling aphids in the garden.
Fill an empty spray bottle half way with water. Add a couple of squirts of dish soap and then fill the bottle the rest the way with water, shaking gently to mix.
To apply to plants, spray liberally to the tops and bottoms of leaves that are infested with aphids. Re-apply weekly until aphids are gone. You may have to apply more often if there is a lot of rain to wash the soap off of the leaves.
Spray to control white fly
2 cups lemon peels
4 cups water
Bring water to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon peels. Cover and let the lemon peels set in the hot water until the water cools. Strain the mixture and pour the lemon water into a clean, empty spray bottle. Use to treat plants infested with white flies.
When you make your own bug sprays, you still need to test them on a small area of your plants first to make sure they will not harm your plant in any way. It is possible for some of the ingredients to affect plants differently. Try applying the mixture weekly and see if it is working. Applying too often will also harm your plants.
Do not apply if it looks like it is going to rain soon, because the rain will wash away the spray you just applied. For best results, try to apply on a clear, dry morning and I like to do this really early so will often go out as soon as the sun is up and it is light enough.