Tips to Use Insecticidal Soap
When it comes to the world of insecticides there are so many to choose from that offer good results but the challenge with many of these insecticides is while they may get the job done many are harmful to pets and humans which is not good news.
The goal when seeking to eliminate insect pests is just that, eliminating them without causing harm to our family and pets. These soap sprays (insecticidal soap) were formulated for this intention and that is to keep everybody safe and happy including our pets.
In this article, we will be looking at how to use these insecticides and other advantages of these soap sprays.
Giving your garden plants a fighting chance
Garden insect pests can be a menace to a garden that is well manicured whether interior or exterior. This has been my experience working on many garden projects. To combat these insects pest one of the insecticides that I resorted to were insecticidal soaps that have gained recognition because of what they can do.
These insecticides can be used both indoors on garden plants and within the landscape and garden areas. I have had good success and recommend them to win the war on garden pests.
How to use insecticidal soap?
How do insecticidal soaps work?
Insecticidal soaps work by penetrating the outer skin of the insects which is known as the cuticle. When this happens the insect’s skin dries out causing dehydration.
These soap sprays work also by suffocating insect pests.
Listed insects pest
Insecticidal soaps can eliminate garden insect pests such as
- Immature leafhoppers
- Immature whiteflies
- Spider mites
- Eggs and pupae of other insects
How to apply insecticidal soaps?
When applying insecticidal soap adjust the nozzle so that the insecticide comes out misty, course drops will not give good results. When applying spray in such a way to get total coverage of the leaves both the top and undersides. Other factors to consider.
1. Plants should be in good health when applying these soap sprays. Ensure that plants are watered the day before using these insecticides.
2. Some plants such as azaleas, ferns, lantanas, succulents, etc… are sensitive to insecticidal soap so be careful when applying. Look for the plant listing on the label.
3. Always especially if it is a plant that you may not be familiar with apply spray to the lower leaves as a test and watch for 24 hours to ensure that application does not have a negative effect before spraying the entire plant.
4. To get the best results from these soap sprays, spray application should be carried out during the morning hours when it is cool which lessens the chance of plant burn ( outdoor garden) along with insecticides taking longer to break down.
Advantages of insecticidal soap
1. Insecticidal soap is biodegradable meaning that it breaks down so no need to worry about cleanup ( only in the case of treating indoor plants and soap gets on a piece of furniture then clean up may be needed).
2. Insecticidal soaps are non-toxic to people, birds, and mammals.
3. Insecticidal soaps can be used on none food bearing as well as food-bearing plants.
4. Has no residual effect. Once soap dries beneficial insects are safe.
5. This soap is safe for the environment.
6. kills on contact giving a quick knockdown.
1. Insecticidal soaps are less effective against hard-bodied insects.
2. These soap are contact sprays and can only eliminate insects as it comes in contact.
3. Some plants are sensitive to these sprays so read the label for listed plants.
4. Once dried it has no effect on targeted insect pests.
5. Don’t apply if the temperature exceeds 90 degrees.
Homemade insecticidal soap
What so amazes me with homemade insecticides is that many products which can be found in our kitchen cupboards and pantries can be used to make an effective insecticide that will eliminate insects.
Here is a homemade insecticide that has proven to give good results.
What you will need?
1. A 32 oz spray bottle.
2. A gallon of Pure water
3. Pure soap.
To make this potent soap spray mix 4-5 tablespoons of soap in the gallon of pure water, shake well and you are good to go
Word of caution: As a safety measure it is good to rinse plants with fresh water thoroughly 2-3 hours after applying homemade sprays.
Brands of insecticidal soaps
There are many brands of insecticidal soaps that are at your disposal in eliminating insect pests. Here a just a few.
- Safer Pyrethrin & Insecticidal Soap Concentrate, 1 gallon
- Safer Soap
- Insecticidal Soap Insect Killer
- Insect-killing soap
- Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap Insect Killer
- Safer Brand 5118 Insect Killing Soap
- Bonide 652 Ready-to-Use Insect Soap
- Espoma Organic Earth-Tone Insecticidal Soap
The Final word
Insecticidal soaps have found their way into the hearts of so many home gardeners and have lived up to their name. These soap sprays even though they have their limits can get the job done once applied in the right way. So if you are in the market for an insecticide that can get the job done while keeping your families and pets safe then insecticidal soap is for you.
Remember before purchasing and applying to garden or indoor plants read and follow the label because the label is the law.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.