Answer: I've used rubbing alcohol as an insecticide, but never ammonia. Even rubbing alcohol must be used with care--it can damage tender plants. I've never heard of using grocery-store ammonia as a pesticide, so I wouldn't recommend it. Ammonia gascan be released in some situations when a nitrogen-containing fertilizer, like ammonium nitrate, is applied. I have not heard of using straight ammonia as a fertilizer, and would not recommend it--better to use a more stable, slow-release fertilizer thatworks to improve soil structure.<br><br>Epsom salts is most often used as a supplemental fertilizer--it is a good source of magnesium. I wouldn't use tobacco juice for fear of spreading tobacco mosaic virus. Liquid dish soap (such as Ivory) can be used either by itself or mixed with other home-made insecticides. It acts as a "spreader-sticker", helping the spray coat more evenly. On its own, it helps suffocate susceptible insects like mites. Use 1 teaspoon of soap per quart of water. Beer is often used to trap slugs.<br><br>One good book with lots of information on home-made pest controls is "The Gardener's Bug Book", by Barbara Pleasant (Storey Communications, Pownal, VT 1994).
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