Best Ever Garlic Spray for Garden Pests

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.

Garlic Variation
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

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Sherry Siegel
Sherry Siegel4 months ago

Excellent. Thank you for letting readers know to freeze the left overs! Saved me from cleaning up a moldy botttle.

Sherry Siegel
Sherry Siegel4 months ago


Richard T.
Richard T.4 months ago

thank you

Sara G.
Sara G.4 months ago

Interesting. I will definitely try the insect spray idea. Can't use chemicals because I like having birds around.

Lady Kaira
Lady Kaira4 months ago


Blackfish Shannon
Blackfish Shannon4 months ago

thank you

Blackfish Shannon
Blackfish Shannon4 months ago

thank you

Edith B.
Edith B.4 months ago

Thanks. You can also plant garlic around your other plants to discourage rabbits and deer.

william Miller
william Miller4 months ago

cool thanks

Vijay Bansal
vijay k Bansal4 months ago

This is fantastic. I can drastically cut down on the chemicals in the garden