Ever since my friend Doug Harp told me about the great results he got from using soap spray on the gypsy moths that had infested his apple trees, I’ve worked on perfecting the ideal insecticidal soap spray recipe that will work on a wide variety of garden pests.
This is it. It’s fast and easy to make, economical, non-toxic to the environment and to our own bodies – and it works!
Soap has been used for centuries as an all-purpose pesticide. It disrupts insects’ cell membranes, and kills pests by dehydration. The key is not to use too much soap, or you’ll also kill the vegetation near the pests. If you follow the proportions of soap to water in the Basic Soap Spray recipe, below, the vegetation should be fine.
Note: Buy a liquid soap, NOT a detergent. Health food stores have liquid soaps, such as Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps.
Basic Soap Spray
1 to 2 tablespoons liquid soap
1 quart water
Combine ingredients in a bucket, mix, then transfer to a spray bottle as needed.
1 to 2 heads garlic, chopped
Enough boiling water to cover
Put garlic in the bottom of a mason jar and cover with boiling water. Put lid on and allow to sit overnight, then strain and add garlic-water to the soap spray. This will decay, so be sure to freeze leftovers until ready to use again.
By Annie B. Bond