START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Homemade Insecticidal Soap Spray

Homemade Insecticidal Soap Spray

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 proportion of soap to water in the Soap Spray recipe, below, the vegetation should be fine.

Doug Harp, a graphic designer friend, first alerted me to soap as an effective all-purpose pesticide when he used Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap diluted with water to kill the gypsy moths that had infested his apple trees. We were working on a project together, and I’d get faxes updating me on his kill rate (this was back before e-mail!), which, much to his delight, was excellent.

Note: Buy a liquid soap and not a detergent. Health food stores have liquid soaps, such as Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps.


Insecticidal 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.


All-Purpose Pesticide Soap Spray
Strong smelling roots and spices such as garlic, onions, horseradish, ginger, rhubarb leaves, cayenne and other hot peppers, are all known to repel insects.

A handful of roots and spices
Enough boiling water to cover
Soap Spray (recipe, above)

Add the roots and spices to the bottom of a mason jar. Cover with the boiling water, screw on the top, and let set overnight. Strain, and add to the Soap Spray. Note that this will rot, so use it all up or freeze leftovers for another time.


Variation: Garlic Spray
Use 1 to 2 heads garlic. Deer and rabbits hate the smell
of garlic.

Read more: Nature, Natural Pest Control

By Annie B. Bond

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


+ add your own
11:23PM PDT on Jun 25, 2015

Great timing. I need this now.

7:48AM PDT on Jun 30, 2014


3:54AM PDT on Jun 4, 2014

Be nice and responsible to our health and our environment

7:55AM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

@cora you're right you can get insecticidal soaps in a variety of stores now. Safer Brand has one in particular that is organic which I personally recommend:

12:36PM PDT on Jun 17, 2013

Sounds great-thanks!

6:55AM PST on Feb 18, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

2:36PM PST on Jan 16, 2013

Very interesting ideas!

6:45PM PST on Jan 14, 2013


11:32AM PDT on Oct 17, 2012


9:13AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Very interesting article, thank you!!!!

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

best article ever,,,, NOTHING,,,, LOL

Miracle Whip doesn't get to call itself Mayonnaise either. This isn't a new thing, nor is it unreaso…

I set aside 30 min. a day to worry and stress. Then when that 30min. time arrives, I nap.

That was easy! ;)

Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand n…


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!