Insects are one of life’s greatest nuisances and when it comes to repelling them from your garden, prevention is often the best remedy. However, it isn’t uncommon to find that the majority of insect repellant’s contain harmful chemicals that make them unsuitable for use, as well as dangerous for the environment. There are a number of pests that may try to make your new garden their home, however it’s often desirable to encourage friendly pests and critters to reside in your garden as well. Some of the most common garden pests include: aphids, borers, earthworms, maggots, mites, white flies, moths, and beetles. Using homemade insecticidal soap allows the gardener to control where the soap is sprayed, without placing other plants or insects in harm’s way. Also, the insecticidal soaps are often less toxic than commercially prepared insecticides.
You can create your own homemade insecticidal soaps by blending soaps and water. Some of the most preferable types of soap to use include liquid soaps purchased from health food stores. These soaps are desirable, as they don’t have any added preservatives or chemicals. However, you can create your own insecticidal soaps using household dish washing liquid and water. When you consider the amount of natural herbs that repel insects, which could be added to your insecticidal soap, you soon realize that the combinations that you can create for your garden are virtually limitless.
The simplest soap recipe is to take two tablespoons of your household dish washing liquid and add it to one gallon of water. Simply mix thoroughly and spray on your plants where you see an infestation. You can add several drops of vegetable oil to help the soap bond to the plant as well. If you would like to make a smaller batch of the soap, for use indoors or on a smaller area outside, simply add between 1 and 1 1/2 teaspoons of dish washing liquid to one quart of warm water. You can put the mixture in a spray bottle to make application easier.
One recipe uses Murphy’s oil soap. To create the mixture add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Murphy’s Oil soap to 1 gallon of warm water. Castile soap is available in both health food stores and some department stores. You can create a very mild but effective insecticidal soap by combining a household remedy that treats scale insects is to add one cup of isopropyl alcohol to your gallon mixture of dish washing liquid and water. The alcohol will attack the scales shell and cause it to deteriorate.
If you prefer to use pure soap and not a liquid, you can try creating the same blends with these brands, Fels Naptha, Dr. Bronners, or Ivory. Herbs, that contain natural insect repellant properties, may be added your mixtures. It is a good idea to experiment with different combinations until you find the blend that best treats your garden pests. Some of the best herbs to add to your mixtures include Tabasco sauce, garlic, peppermint, and vinegar. By creating your own homemade insecticidal soaps you can rest assured that you are treating insects and protecting your plants while being kind to the environment.