Insect soap is used to control pests on houseplants, plants in greenhouses, etc.
Unfortunately, although insect soap effectively controls pests, it also kills all beneficial insects (the soap "resets" the balance between pests and beneficial insects). Therefore, insect soap should only be used as a last resort when everything else has been tried.
The minimum things you should try before using insect soap include:
- Rinsing the plants with clean water (no soap)
- Manual removal of the pests
- Release of predators such as predatory mites, parasitic wasps, etc.
Remember that different pests can be controlled in different ways, which can also depend on which plant they have attacked.
Commercial insect soaps
There are a number of commercial insect soaps available, but the vast majority are expensive and no more effective than the homemade version described below.
In addition, these soaps often contain chemicals that are not necessarily known to have any effect on plants, animals or humans. However, there is one product that is significantly better than the others on the market: LuseFri Insect Soap.
We recommend the insect soaps above
Homemade insect soap
You can make your own insect soap according to the following recipe:
- 1 liter of water
- 2 tbsp. rubbing alcohol
- 2 tbsp. solid brown soap (if you want to use liquid soap, make sure there is nothing but soap in it - i.e. no additives)
→ Mix it all together and fill it into an atomizer bottle. Spray the infested plants, making sure to soak all parts of the plant. The insect soap is only effective when it hits the spider mites directly. Be especially careful under the leaves where the spider mites live.
→ The strength of the insect soap can be increased by increasing the amount of brown soap and rubbing alcohol if necessary, but be aware that some plants can be harmed by over mixing.
→ Remember to only use the mixture at times when it will not be exposed to sunlight afterwards (e.g. in the evening or on gray days), otherwise the plant risks getting sweaty leaves.
→ If necessary, the soap treatment can be repeated every 4-5 days.
→ Remember never to spray with insecticidal soap after you have released beneficial insects such as predatory mites, because insecticidal soap "resets" the balance between pests and beneficial insects.