How to Make Homemade Insecticide


Controlling insects in the garden is an ongoing battle. Some gardeners don't want to use chemical insecticides in their vegetable gardens because of the risk of contamination to the edible fruits and vegetables. Others may wish to avoid them in ornamental gardens for personal reasons or to realize an organic garden plan. Dish soap is an effective insecticide against many pests, if used correctly. It contains the chemical laurate, which is nontoxic to humans but deadly to insects.

Step 1

Mix 2 tsp. of liquid dish soap with 1 quart of water. Pour into a spray bottle.

Step 2

Spray the plants with soap solution once per day for major insect problems and every two to three days for minor insect problems. Spray in the late morning or early afternoon when insects are active.

Step 3

Check and spray the underside of leaves, where insects lay eggs, and spray any visible insects in the soil around the plants.

Step 4

Rinse off the soap film with water once it dries and becomes ineffective. Film buildup on leaves may inhibit plant respiration and damage the plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Dish soap may damage some plants. Use caution and wait two days after the first application to ensure that the plant remains undamaged. Mixing noxious foods together, such as onions or peppers, has few insect-control abilities.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spray bottle


  • New Mexico State University Extension: Natural Insecticides
Keywords: homemade insecticide, organic insect control, kill garden pests

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.