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How to Make Your Own Insecticide

By Tracy Morris ; Updated September 21, 2017
Liquid dish soap makes a good homemade insecticide.
soap container image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com

Insects are a fact of life in the garden. To cope with sudden infestations, many gardeners rely on insecticides containing chemicals. But some gardeners worry about the long-term effects that these chemicals may have as they leech into ground water and end up in the water we drink. Because of this, some gardeners resort to making their own insecticides. Effective insecticides can be created using common household products.

Insecticide Soap

Mix 5 tbsp. dish washing detergent with 1 gallon warm water.

Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

Spray insects whenever you see them. Detergent is a contact insecticide and kills pests when directly applied.

Place the bucket of soapy water near your plants. Hand pick bugs from your plants and throw them in the soapy water to kill them.

Insect Repellent

Crush 5 cloves of garlic and soak them in water.

Pour garlic water into a spray bottle.

Spray the foliage of your plants with garlic water. The scent will drive away insects.


Things You Will Need

  • Dish washing detergent
  • Water
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Garlic
  • Spray bottle


  • Select a dish detergent with no additives. Some detergents include antibacterial agents or power scrubbers that can kill beneficial bacteria in the soil or contaminate your plants.

About the Author


Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.