Basil, one of the most widely consumed herbs, famously noted for its presence in Italian sauces. Sweeter varieties of basil are integral to Indian and Thai cooking. Basil is a pretty hardy herb and will repel many bugs with its strong natural frangrance. Some insect pests do feed on basil, however, including aphids and whiteflies. Both of them may be discouraged from basil plants with the use of natural products.
Spray basil plants with a strong pressure water sprayer each evening for a week to remove aphids and whiteflies. A spray of water often is enough to get rid of the pests.
Mix 1 part insecticidal soap with 10 parts water in a sprayer and add 10 drops of neem oil. Shake the sprayer well to combine the ingredients.
Spray the basil plants, paying particular attention to the underside of the leaves where pests like to hide. Spray at dusk to avoid the soap burning the leaves in the sun.
Repeat daily for a week. Spray weekly thereafter as a control measure.
Marigolds planted around the basil patch may act as a catch crop for aphids as well as provide protection from harmful nematodes in the soil.
Wash basil well before using it in food if it has been sprayed with insecticidal soap.