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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bug Spray

I love to read and the great stories always have a Hero that always tries to overcome the memorable Villain. Sometimes, if the villain is entertaining enough, my dark side roots for him. However, when it comes to my garden I don’t root for the villain, ever. Following is a homemade bug spray that allows me to eradicate the villains of my garden without getting rid of the heroes.

To make the spray you will need a spray bottle that has been washed thoroughly, water, rubbing alcohol, and liquid detergent.

Fill the bottle 85% full with water.

Add a dash of soft soap like Ivory Liquid Dish Soap, Castille Soap, or Murphy’s oil soap.

Then fill the remaining 15% with rubbing alcohol.

Mix and then spray on a few vegetables to test them and make sure it won’t harm them. After spraying wait a day and check your plants. If they look OK go ahead and spray all of your vegetables. It is better to do this at dusk or at dawn when the sun isn’t as strong so your leaves don’t burn.

You may be asking what this concoction does. Well the soap penetrates and clogs the insects body membranes which kills them on contact. This works on the villains of the garden like spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies. The alcohol in the mix also kills these soft bodied bugs on contact.

Since this only kills bugs on contact, spray this on your plants 2 or 3 days in a row to make sure you get as many of the bad guys as possible. After spraying this on and giving it a little time to do it’s work, it is also a good idea to then rinse off your plants. The nice thing about this mixture is that it will dissipate and won’t linger to harm your good bugs.



Emily Cole said...

Michael, what effect does this product have on the parasitic wasps, ladybugs, and mantis bugs? I have been using something similar, just a soapy mixture on my plants for aphids, but I'm afraid it's harming my beneficial bugs.

Mike said...

Good question Em. The research I have done indicates that this will harm your good bugs if you spray it directly on them so you want to watch for them as you spray and try to make sure they aren't hit. The good thing is that this spray evaporates quickly so it will not harm them if they come around after you spray.

Erin H said...

Hi Michael, cousin Teri lead me here and I'm having the exact problem with my garden. How does this work on ear wigs? I've just a mixture of Murphy soap, mouthwash, and tobacco juice on a hose end sprayer. I haven't been able to tell if it actually worked yet or not. But I'd like to try yours mix also.

Mike said...

Thanks for your question Erin. This spray is not intended to rid your garden of earwigs but I expect if you spray it directly on them it would kill them. The problem is that earwigs are generally night feeders so it will be hard to spray them directly. Another eco-friendly method for earwigs would be to roll up damp newspapers and place them in your garden where you have an infestation. They will move into the newspapers and then you can dispose of the newspapers that are full of the earwigs.

NancyF said...

Do I have to mist the plant with water after spraying to rinse off the solution? Do I need to hand dry the plant after spraying? Can I spray for maintenance even if I do not see any critters? If I spray in the evening or in the morning and not do anything else, will the plant be fine on its own come sunrise? I'm a little worried about the sun hitting the plant that has solution on it. Thank you!

james brownn said...

Thanks for your information, it really very helpfull..
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