View Full Version : Homemade Insecticidal Soap

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006, 10:38 AM
Homemade Insecticidal Soap
by Annie Berthold-Bond

Simple Solution

Doug Harp, a graphic designer friend, first alerted me to soap as an effective all-purpose pesticide when he used Dr. Bronnerís 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 Iíd get faxes updating me on his kill rate (this was back before Emil), which, much to his delight, was excellent! Impressed, I made a mental note to look into insecticidal soaps, which I have since done.

Soap has been used for centuries as an all-purpose pesticide. It disrupts insectsí cell membranes, and kills pests by dehydration. The key is not to use too much soap, or youíll also kill the vegetation near the pests. If you follow the proportions of soap to water in the Soap Spray recipe, below, the vegetation should be fine.

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

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.

Gorm the Old
Tuesday, December 5th, 2006, 03:44 PM
"Deer and rabbits hate the smell of garlic." So do vampires. :eek

Monday, December 11th, 2006, 10:32 PM
I use that Dr. Bronner's concoction to keep the white flies out of my tomatoes. Works like a charm for anything that ails my garden. :)

Monday, December 11th, 2006, 11:01 PM
I'm looking into making this myself. :thumbsup