General Forum

Message #33. This is a followup to #32.

Date:Tuesday July 12, 2005 11:39:07 am MDT
Subject:Re: Insecticidal soap

   1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon mild washing detergent liquid (dish soap or hand soap)
1/2 teaspoon vegetable cooking oil (optional)
      a few drops hot pepper sauce (optional)


Some things to remember about insecticidal soaps....

They're most effective against small soft-bodied insects such as aphids and spider mites. Most beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and bees, are not harmed by insecticidal soaps.

They are only effective as contact insecticides, sprayed directly on the insects, thoroughly wetting them. Be sure to spray the undersides of leaves as necessary. The best times to spray are early morning or early evening. Avoid spraying during the hottest parts of the day, when the spray will dry too quickly. The sprays have no residual effect.

A few kinds of plants may be damaged. These may include cherry and plum trees, and some varieties of tomato, plus portulaca, jade plant, sweet peas, and hawthorn. It may be advisable to test spraying on a small area before treating a whole plant. Since the sprays have no residual effect, the plants may be washed after a few hours.

Some soaps are more effective than others. Experiment with different kinds to see which work best for you. Do not use any powdered detergents or any kind of laundry detergent.

Organic gardener wrote:
> I hate using any kind of toxic chemicals, but I also hate all of the
> aphids I've got in the garden. Does anyone have a recipe for homemade
> insecticidal soap?
> Thanks!

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