Many common garden pests can be controlled using an insecticidal soap. This is an organic, eco friendly way of ridding your garden of insects such as aphids, white fly, mites, thrips and a few others
Soap contains fatty acids, when dissolved in plain water and used as a spray it affects the rain exoskeleton of these insects and they die.
A few very good horticultural soaps are on the market Natrasoap being one, however you can also make your own. You will need a liquid soap or pure soap NOT a detergent with added chemicals.
Insecticidal Soap Recipe
With a liquid soap
- In a spray bottle – Mix 1 tablespoon (.5 fl oz ) to 1 quart of water (1 litre)
- Test the spray on the plant with insect problems, Spray a little on the foliage. If the foliage changes colour or dies back, either lessen the amount of soap or use a different type of spray (eg. Garlic and Chilli Spray)
- Spray the insect infected areas on the plant, preferably in the late afternoon after the pollinating insects such as bees left the plant.
With soap bars
You can use pure soap bars.
- Dissolve around 1 tablespoon of soap in a little water. Simply sit the soap in a glass of water overnight.
- When dissolved mix the soapy liquid to make 1 quart (1 Litre) of spray and follow the same procedure as above.
Can you make your own soap?
You can easily make you own liquid soap and a common one is called Castile Soap.
Originating in Spain lots of recipes are around.
However as Castile Liquid Soap is readily available in pharmacies and supermarkets, we leave that one up tp you.
- Use natural soap without perfumed additives
- Test your spray on a small section of the plant first.
- Never spray on hot days.
- Spray in the late afternoon.