As flattered as I am that pests find my garden delicious – after all, this is precisely my purpose in planting it – I still don’t want them there. Call me selfish, but I really want to eat my veggies myself, or feed them to my family and friends.
Happily, the same Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap that is designed for body washing is also, oddly enough, an eliminator of garden pests. Did you know this?
I don’t fully understand why this is so, and a quick online search produced more possibilities than answers. However, it works! Best of all, there is nothing harmful to humans by spraying plants with a soap that is biodegradable, has no petrochemicals or synthetics, and is made from pure organic vegetable oils.
As you’ll see in the video, you’ll need:
- A spray bottle
- 1 Tbsp. (15mL) Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
- 1 quart (1 L) water
I recommend a food-ish scent just in case the plants absorb some of the essential oils. Peppermint, Citrus, and Unscented are all great options. If your water is particularly hard, consider using distilled or filtered so that mineral deposits don’t build up on leaves.
Combine the soap and water in a spray bottle. Spray plants thoroughly. Be sure to spray stems, and under the leaves where bugs hide. Spray early in the morning or evening so that the heat of the day does not evaporate the spray immediately and is effective longer. You may need to spray plants daily for a while to thwart an intense infestation.
Although my research indicated that a soap spray will not harm beneficial insects like bees and ladybugs, you can be sure not to bother any by giving the plant a quick shake before spraying.
Rinse your produce after harvesting. You can even add a drop or two more Castile soap, which makes a great produce wash. Happy plantings!