Soap Sprays - Knowledgebase Question

Seattle, WA
Avatar for cpaulson2
Question by cpaulson2
May 6, 1998
I notice that aphids are already appearing on my daylilies as well as on my geraniums 'Johnson Blue', plus spittle bugs are appearing already on my Georgia Speedwell. I was going to purchase some soap spray, which I'm not to familiar with, however, a friend suggested that I use just regular diswashing liquid mixed with water. What do you suggest?

Answer from NGA
May 6, 1998
The insecticidal soaps are made from plant-derived fatty acids and are safe to use against soft-bodied insects on a variety of plants. Regular dishwashing soap contains fatty acids that can burn plant leaves, plus they contain degreasers and other chemicals that are not plant-friendly. Don't try to make your own concoction. Instead, either hose the aphids off with a strong stream of water from the hose, or use a commercially prepared insecticidal soap.

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