Insecticidal Soap

April 23, 2008 | By | Comments (4)

Q: Dear Steve, I enjoy your part of the magazine so much. Please tell me how to make insecticidal soap to spray on my daylilies that have tiny tiny white bugs. Thanks.

A: Dear Perry,
You are obviously a highly intelligent individual. Here’s a formula for homemade insecticidal soap that’s always worked for me. Put about 5-6 drops of liquid detergent into a quart spray bottle and fill with water. This mixture kills spider mites, aphids, and lots of other pests, so it will probably do a number on “tiny, white bugs.” It’s also nontoxic to people and it’s really cheap to make, just like the pasta my family enjoys ever Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.


  1. Nancy Bond

    Great information…thanks!

    April 23, 2008 at 11:34 am
  2. chey

    I use homemade insecticidal soap, and actually find it much more effective than the store bought soap. Great post!

    April 23, 2008 at 6:38 pm
  3. Kim

    I have aphids on my squash and zucchini plants. I have heard that ladybugs help keep these things under control. I have noticed some ladybugs and larvae on my plants as well. Will using the insecticidal soap hurt the ladybugs too?

    July 13, 2012 at 9:30 pm
  4. Grumpy Gardener (His Magnificence)

    Insecticidal soap is a contact killer and would kill ladybugs if sprayed on them. Once it dries, however, it’s harmless.

    July 16, 2012 at 10:37 am