Aphids are garden pests and to make sure that your plants stay alive and unharmed, aphids need to be controlled. One way to kill aphids is to use sprays, so let’s have a look at how to make a detergent spray for aphids.
Soap Spray Recipe
Making an insecticidal soap spray is actually a lot easier than you may think. All you need are a couple of basic ingredients and a spray bottle so that you can apply it. So here is how to make a detergent spray for aphids easily:
Step 1 – First of all get together 3 litres of water and a teaspoon of liquid detergent. Make sure that the liquid detergent you use is completely natural so that it does not damage your plants or the environment. Do not use any soaps that contain bleach or an ‘anti-greaser’.
Step 2 – Mix the ingredients together and transfer them into a spray bottle. One that sprays it into a mist is better for coverage.
Step 3 – Do a test spray. It is always a good idea to check your solution is diluted enough and that the soap you have used it safe for your plants. Spray a couple of leaves and wait for a couple of hours and check to see if there is any damage. If there is then dilute the solution or change the type of soap you are using until it is safe.
Step 4 – Spray all over your infected plants. Make sure to spray the underside of the leaves as that is where aphids most commonly lay their eggs. You should reapply this solution after it rains as the rain will wash it away.
Do Detergent Sprays Kill Aphids?
Soap sprays are used because yes, they do kill aphids. Natural liquid detergents often contain oils, and these oils will work to trap the aphids in the water, effectively drowning them.
The use of chemical soaps will also kill aphids due to their harmful contents, but you should not use them as it can damage both your garden plants and the environment.
Are Homemade Sprays Better than Commercial Sprays?
Homemade soap sprays are just as effective at killing aphids as commercial sprays. Some commercial sprays work faster then homemade sprays because they kill on contact.
But they have a lot of harmful properties that homemade soap sprays do not have. If you follow the homemade soap spray recipe then you are using a chemical-free solution. This is not only good for your plants but for the environment as well as it does not leak chemicals into the food chain.
Overall, the benefits of homemade sprays outweigh the fact that they may act slightly slower than commercial sprays.
What Good Commercial Sprays Work?
Commercial soap sprays are effective, but the consequences to the environment is leading them to be banned in several areas. This is a good thing and it also means that more companies are trying to produce sprays that contain natural insecticides.
If you do choose to buy a commercial spray, please read the label to make sure that you are not putting anything harmful into the environment.
There are also two types of commercial sprays, concentrate and ready to use. Make sure you know which one you are buying as applying concentrate directly to your plants can cause them some serious damage.
What Other Homemade Sprays Work?
Soap sprays are not the only insecticide sprays you can make to deal with the aphids in your garden. Here are a couple of other ideas of how to make sprays to get rid of aphids.
Rather than using soaps containing oil, you can make a spray using the oil directly. For this you can use vegetable or peanut oil and dilute it with water. As the two liquids do not mix, shake the solution thoroughly before applying it to your plants.
Essential Oil Sprays
Essential oils such as peppermint oil and orange oil are great for dealing with aphids. However, you need to severely dilute them and be careful when using them as they can be harmful to pets. You should look up how to dilute the specific oil you choose to make sure it is at a safe concentration.
To summarise, you can make several homemade sprays to use on aphids. Natural liquid dish soap can be mixed with water, 1 teaspoon of soap to 3 litres of water. This solution works by trapping the aphids in the water and drowning them.
Homemade sprays are better than commercial sprays as they do not contain chemicals that harm the environment. You can also make aphid sprays using vegetable oils and essential oils.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden