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.
Mix 2 tsp. of liquid dish soap with 1 quart of water. Pour into a spray bottle.
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.
Check and spray the underside of leaves, where insects lay eggs, and spray any visible insects in the soil around the plants.
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.