Script 34.11

Notes to broadcasters

Special Supplement DCFRN participants report that they use chili pepper mixtures to control the following pests:

Aphids, centipedes, spider mites, cabbage worms, weevils, ants, cutworms, grasshoppers, rice bugs, brown planthopper, tobacco mosaic virus, rice weevil, caterpillars, housefly, mosquitoes, bruchids, beetles

DCFRN Participants have also suggested a variety of methods that chili peppers can be used to control pests. Here are a few of their ideas.

Some insects that attack fruits and vegetables can be repelled with pesticides made from locally grown plants. Pests like ants, centipedes, spider mites, cabbage worms and some worms that attack corn and tomato can be controlled using the following mixture. Grind three cloves of garlic, two medium sized chili peppers and three medium sized onions. Put these in a liter can and fill with water. Let the solution soak overnight. After 12 hours, strain the solution and add water to fill a three gallon container. Spray the solution on the affected plants. Deveza/Philippines

We mix chili peppers with water and spray them on plants to control chewing pests.
–Robert Bishop/Palau

We mix powdered chili peppers together with wood ashes and spray the mixture on plant leaves affected with aphids.

Grind or mash mature hot chili pepprs and spray to control grasshoppers.
–Inocencio Q. Obero/Philippines

Here chili peppers are used for the control of the rice bug (Septocorizza oratorius). First pound the fruits of the peppers. Put in a container and soak in water for 10 to 20 minutes. Strain the solution to remove seeds and other foreign materials. Two cups of pounded pepper prepared like this is enough to spray half a hectare of rice land.
–Vivencio Argel/Philippines

Use ground pepper to control storage pests of beans and maize.

Grind chili peppers to a find powder and apply to grains for control of storage pests.

We use chili peppers ground or whole, mixed with produce before storage in pots for general pest control.


Content : Chili peppers (Capsicum spp.) can be used to make a spray or dust to control pests. All over the world farmers and gardeners use chili peppers instead of commercial pesticides.

Make a spray for field and garden crops
You can make an effective pest control spray from chili peppers, water and soap. Chop up a large handful (about 100 grams) of chili peppers. Be careful when you are handling them because they could burn your skin. Add about one litre of water. Let the solution stand for one day. Then, strain the mixture through a sieve or fine cloth. Add an equal amount of soapy water. The soap is important because it helps the solution stick to the leaves and fruit of the plant. Spray the solution on your affected plants using a watering can, brush, or sprayer.

Some people add onions and garlic to the mixture. Or they dust dry, ground, chili peppers directly on the affected part of the plant. It’s a good idea to experiment and see what works best.

After harvesting your produce be sure to wash it to remove any chili pepper mixture that may still be on it. Unless you do this, the taste of the produce could be spoiled.

Protect stored grain and seeds
To repel pests in grain or seeds in storage you can use dried chili peppers. First, dry the chili peppers in the sun. When they are dry, grind them to a fine powder. Mix the powder with the grains to be stored. Be careful not to get the powder in your eyes, nose, or mouth. Instead of grinding some farmers mix whole dry chili peppers with their grain. Why not try using chili pepper powder in one lot of grain and whole chili peppers in another lot? That way you can find out which works best and how many chili peppers to use.

Make sure that the grains or seeds you are going to store are well dried before you mix the chili pepper powder or whole chili peppers with them. Some farmers do a moisture test to find out if their grains such as rice, soyabeans, and cowpeas are dry enough. They bite one or two seeds with their teeth. A sharp cracking sound when biting means that the grain is dry enough to be stored. Other people press the grain kernel with their thumbnail to make sure it’s hard and dry.

In many countries of the world, farmers use chili peppers to protect their stored grain from pests. You can do this too, whether you store your grain in pots, sacks, gourds, or baskets.

Information Sources

Thirty nine Network participants sent information about how they use chili peppers to control pests.

Natural pesticides (2 page factsheet), published by the Kenya Institute of Organic Farming, P.O. Box 34972, Nairobi.

Red pepper botanical insecticides for controlling some stored product pests, in Santinig, Volume VI, No. 256, September 1987 (page 10). Philippine Federation of Rural Broadcasters, 4th floor, NIA building, EDSA, Quezon City, Philippines.

Peppers, by Jean Andrews, 1984. (170 pages), University of Texas Press, Box 7819, Austin, Texas.

Handbook of plants with pest control properties, 1988, by Michael Grainge and Saleem Ahmed, Resource Systems Institute, East West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. John Wiley & Sons.

Alternativas al uso de agroquimicos control cultural y pesticidas caseros (Alternatives to agrochemicals cultural control and homemade pesticides), by Traugott Horsch, October 1989, (11 pages), Managua, Nicaragua.

Natural crop protection based on local farm resources in the tropics and subtropics, by Gaby Stoll, 1986 (186 pages). Agrecol, c/o Okozentrum, CH 4438 Langenbruck, Switzerland.

The use of plants and minerals as traditional protectants of stored products, by P. Golob and D.J. Webley, 1980. Natural Resources Institute, Central Avenue, Chatham, Maritime, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TB U.K.