pest control in green way - Knowledgebase Question

sanjose, Ca
Question by nanda_j
September 19, 2009
I read an article that 1teaspoon dishwasher soap/gallon water use as pesticide. I wanted to know are you agree with this. What dishwasher or dish detergent you recommand for this. Is this work for my pear fire
blight deases. because in my pear tree leaves are still turning black on different branches.

Answer from NGA
September 19, 2009


I think the magazine or newpaper article was incorrect if it suggested you use dishwasher soap and water. There are far too many chemicals in dishwasher soap and it will burn, if not kill most plants. Perhaps they meant non-detergent hand soap such as Ivory. You can make your own pesticide with a liquid soap diluted in water. It will be similar to the commercially available Insecticidal Soap (such as Safer's) and is effective against soft bodied insects such as aphids and whiteflies. Be sure to test it on a few leaves before spraying an entire plant, though. Some leaves, such as rose leaves, are quite sensitive to the mixture and will burn. If, two days after application, the leaves look okay, you can spray the entire plant.

Pear leaves can turn black due to a fungal disease or a bacterial disease. A soapy solution will not cure this. The best approach is to prune away the affected leaves and stems. Be sure to disinfect the pruners between cuts by dipping the blades in a 10 percent bleach solution so you do not accidentally reinfect the tree.

Good luck with your garden!

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