How to Use Household Dish Soap to Control Aphids


Aphids are almost everywhere. Avid and even amateur gardeners are likely to encounter these tiny pests at some point. There are many species of aphid. Most are green, but others are black, yellow or white. Some have wings and can fly short distances and some are quite slow-moving. Whatever the variety, they all prey on plants. Aphids are almost never a lethal problem, but they attract other pests and fungal infection. Luckily, these soft-bodied pests are easy to control with a bit of household dish soap.

Step 1

Mix a solution of 2 tbsp. of household dish soap into 1 gallon of water and stir well, but don't agitate it enough to make lots of bubbles.

Step 2

Transfer some of the solution to a small hand-held sprayer.

Step 3

Spray it on all of the affected plant tissue, paying extra attention to the underside of leaves where aphids like to congregate. Also spray the soil at the base of the plant.

Step 4

Wipe off any visible aphids with your fingers.

Step 5

Re-spray the plant once weekly as needed until the infestation has been controlled. Repeated applications of soap spray may burn your plant's tender shoots, so do not use it more than three times in a row.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Spray bottle


  • Pesticide Action Network UK: Aphids, Least Toxic Control
  • British Columbia Ministry of Environment: Integrated Pest Management
  • Aphid Control and Treatment
Keywords: soap aphids, aphid control, plant aphids

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.