Basil leaves are fabulous in many different recipes. They can also be used to get rid of flies, but what happens when your basil is attacked?
After doing a bit of research, I found that basil has its own set of enemies – enemies that like to feed on the basil leaves as much as we love to eat them. These enemies, normally bugs and caterpillars, can be gotten rid of naturally with only a few common household items – vinegar and dish soap.
Get Rid of Bugs
To get rid of bugs (and caterpillars), you can use a few different mixtures. Keep in mind, these natural remedies to get rid of bugs on basil leaves have been used by people just like us and have in no way been scientifically proven.
That being said, what does science know anyway?
Vinegar and Water
Fill a spray bottle nearly full of water. Add just enough vinegar that it can be smelled lightly. Spray all over the basil leaves on the top and bottom. Rinse the basil leaves before eating. Try not to add this solution in the heat of the day.
Dish Soap and Water
Fill a spray bottle nearly full of water. Drop a few drops of dish soap into the bottle and give it a shake. Spray the tops and bottoms of the basil leaves. Be sure to rinse well before eating. Do this in early morning or late evening.
Oak Leaf Water
Some people have said they soak oak leaves overnight in a bowl of water then use the water to spay the leaves. They have also stated that it takes two to three days for this to work. The only thing to keep in mind when using this solution is that oak tree leaves and acorns are poisonous to horses, sheep, goats, and cattle.
Keep the oak water solution away from these animals, as it could be toxic if they drink the water or eat the leaves.