Homemade Aphid (or any soft shell bug) Spray
Our artichoke plants are often under aphid attack and mealybugs love our grapefruits. The ladybug troops are in need of reinforcement and we have an interest in the land and its natural resources- especially after all the effort in carefully producing from seed and container! With the help of Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile soap and an industrial spraying backpack, we found a solution to controlling our bug infestation.
Add 5 tablespoons, or just a little over ¼ cup, of Dr. Bronner’s soap to every 1 gallon of water.
Spraying on leaves and individual fruit, including the undersides of leaves where larvae are hidden, helps minimize soft shell bugs in gardens and orchards.
Spray on condition- as often as needed.
Dr. Bronner’s soap consists of organic vegetable-based oil without any harsh chemicals or detergents. The soapy water helps get rid of the waxy protective coating from the bodies of pests like aphids and mealy bugs, causing them to dehydrate and eventually die, without harming the plant. But try to avoid spraying the ladybugs (your allies!)- we relocate ladybugs to another bed when we come across them while spraying.
As for the Dr. Bronner’s soap, we’ve used the plain and the peppermint. Both have had similar results in fending off the invaders. Although the soap doesn’t harm the fruit, nor you if you happen to ingest a little, the flavor may be unpleasant, so wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly after picking.
The weather is warming up, so off we go spraying again. We’ll be ramping up the counterattack over the warm spring and summer months. It can be a war zone out there, so good luck!