Can Soapy Water Kill Aphids?

Having aphids in your garden can be a problem. These tiresome little pests somehow find their way on a host plant and then multiply rapidly. It is important to get rid of aphids as they can affect the health of plants adversely. However, getting rid of aphids is not easy, but there are several ways you can. Usually, some people resort to going for chemical treatments, while others prefer home remedies. 

Soap water is an effective way to deal with aphids in your garden, and it will kill them. 

Not only aphids but soapy water is used to kill other garden pests too. In addition to killing aphids, it is also important to tackle ants because they nurture them. With soapy water, you can kill both aphids and ants. Hence, if you use soapy water, it will help you overcome more than one problem. 

How Long Does Soapy Water Take to Kill Aphids?

While pest control chemicals do not kill aphids, there is some waiting time if you use natural means like soapy water. 

Before you spray your plants with soapy water, it is important to test out the mixture. Some plants do not react well to soap, and therefore, it is best to test on a leaf or two. If the leaves do not look burned or damaged, then you may spray the whole plant. It takes two hours for the soap to kill aphids. However, for the remedy to be effective, you must be consistent. It is important to spray the leaves every day for at least a week to see a big difference. 

What Kind of Soap Kills Aphids?

If you plan on killing aphids with soap, it is important to use the right kind. Using the wrong soap will waste time and will be ineffective in killing the small pests. 

Your best choice in killing aphids is using dish soap. The soap is strong enough to kill aphids. The best soap to use to kill aphids is pure castile soap. While there are other soaps in the market, they can be harmful to plants. Hence, choosing a soap that does not come with fragrance, degreasers, or anti-bacterial elements. 

Why Does Soapy Water Kill Aphids?

Many people, especially those with a green thumb, wonder if soapy water can protect their garden from aphids. It is important to understand how the process works so you have the confidence to use this remedy to get rid of aphids. 

Soapy water is great for killing aphids because of their fatty acid content. When the fatty acid combines with the exoskeleton of the aphids, it melts it. Hence, as a result, aphids begin to dehydrate and dry out. The aphids will smother and die. For people with an organic garden or those not keen on using chemicals, soapy water is a great way to get rid of aphids. 

How to Use Soapy Water to Kill Aphids 

The first thing you should be doing is detecting aphids in your garden. You will notice your plants withering, their leaves turning yellow and curling if you have aphids. If the aphid infestation is big, you can easily spot them on plants. 

Next, if you have a bug infestation, it will help to hose most of them down with water. By using strong water pressure, you will also kill many aphids. 

For the remaining aphids, you can prepare a mix of water and soap. It is essential to use pure soap. Otherwise, you will damage your plants. In addition, pure soap has animal fat which is the key ingredient that dehydrates the aphids.

Next, you must do a spot test to see if your plants can tolerate the acidity of the soap. You can spray one or two leaves and let them soak in soap water for 24 hours. If you do not see any visible damage, it is safe to proceed and spray the rest of the plant. 

It would help if you were thorough when you spray the plant, as you should not miss out on the underside of the leaves. The underside of the leaves is where the aphids collect. It is important to spray the plant and let it soak generously. You must also repeat the process for a few days for it to be effective. After spraying your plants with soap water, you can sprinkle the garden with cayenne pepper to stop them from coming back.

What Are the Benefits of Using Soap Water to Kill Aphids?

Killing aphids using soap water comes with a lot of benefits. When you use soapy water to kill aphids, you save your garden from the unnecessary damage of using chemicals. Soapy water will not leave any harmful residue behind and will kill aphids, along with keeping the plants safe. In addition, pesticides are harmful to children and pets. If you use soapy water, you are not putting your pets and family at risk.

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Another reason why soap water is great for aphids is that it is affordable. Pesticides can cost a lot, and if you are looking for an easy option on the pockets, soap water is a good choice. Moreover, using soapy water does not come with a complicated manual telling you what to do. If you have limited gardening experience, using soapy water is right up your alley. 


One effective way to get rid of aphids is to use soapy water. Soapy water works as a natural pesticide and does not leave behind any harmful residue. The fatty acid in the soap water melts the exoskeletons of aphids, causing them to dehydrate and shrivel. 

When you use soapy water, it is important to do a spot test to see that it does not cause damage to your plants. You must also use natural soap not to damage the plants and work effectively to kill aphids in your garden. It is important to be consistent with spraying your plants for at least a week to see effective results.

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