Killing Aphids With Soapy Water: Does It Work?

Question: Can you kill aphids with soapy water?

Answer: Yes, soapy water will kill different species of aphids and general pest control.

Pest control on plants. Spraying aphids on the leaves in the home garden. Protection against insects in agriculture and gardeningPin
Spraying soapy water is an easy way to kill aphids | Skorzewiak-DepositPhotos

How? The basic organic garden recipe consists of one or two teaspoons of castile soap in 1 quart of water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle. Apply this mixture by wiping it onto plant leaves, buds, and stems or by spraying.

The insecticidal soap drys up the waxy coating of soft-bodied insects like aphids without harming plants, aphid predators, and beneficial insects such as Ladybugs. [source]

What Is The Best Soap For Killing An Aphid Infestation?

To control aphid populations pure castile soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s, is the right kind of liquid soap to use. Many pests recipes call for a liquid dish soap, and this is alright if the product you choose is soap (not detergent).  Dawn dish soap is a popular option.

An aphid spray using soap made with animal fat or vegetable oil works to smother aphids. Detergent does not contain oils and can damage your plants.

Related: Using Castile Soap For Aphids | What Time Of Day Should You Spray Aphids?

What Is The Best Way To Apply Soapy Water For Aphid Control?

Once you’ve mixed up your soap and water solution, do a spot test to ensure the solution will not hurt your plants. This is especially vital when dealing with succulents.

Dab or spray a single leaf and wait a full 24 hours to make sure the plant will not react negatively.

If all goes well, water your plants thoroughly before applying the solution. Consider giving your plants a vigorous shower before spraying to knock off as many aphids as possible before the treatment.

How Do You Apply Soap And Water Spray To Kill Aphids?

  • Completely drench your plants.
  • Spray every bit of the plant, including nooks and crannies in stems and the undersides of leaves.
  • This treatment only will kill and get rid of aphids on contact.
  • If they manage to escape, they will quickly reproduce.

When Is The Best Time Of Day To Treat Plants For Insect Pests and Aphids?

Anytime you spray plants with anything, wait for a cool, still time of day. Morning is best when temperatures are above 60° degrees Fahrenheit.

Aphids do not begin to hatch until temperatures average 60° degrees Fahrenheit.

Spraying early allows the foliage time to dry out on a sunny day before nightfall. Being wet overnight can cause problems with fungal infection.

For Organic Pest Control How Many Times Should I Spray For Aphids?

Soap and water spray does not kill aphid eggs. A few survivors can quickly repopulate your plants. Spray once or twice a week for a month to six weeks. Spray again after any rainfall.

Is It Better To Spray The Soap Solution Or Wipe It On?

If you are in an area where you can spray liberally without making a mess or causing damage, spraying is best. Vigorous spraying will kill aphids on contact and will also knock them off the plant.

For delicate plants, or in areas where spraying is prohibitive, wiping houseplants with a very wet cloth will work.

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