Can You Kill Aphids with Soapy Water?
Whether small or big, insects that feed on your plants aren’t acceptable to any plant parent who loves to keep their leafy babies healthy and safe. Unfortunately, however, sometimes it is hard to control some bugs. Regardless of all the precautionary measures that you may take, a few insects always find their way to your garden or backyard.
Aphids are one of them, and controlling them can be a hassle. It is because these creatures multiply pretty rapidly, taking over your plants within days.
There are many ways to get rid of aphids, provided that you apply your method consistently. One of them is soapy water. Yes, soapy water can kill and control aphids and doesn’t prove toxic for your plants, flowers, or fruits.
This article looks at how soap and water works effectively against aphids. So dig in to find out.
Why Should You Get Rid of Aphids Anyway?
If you haven’t dealt with aphids previously, you may wonder why one should kill these insects in the first place. Aphids may look like small and soft-bodied insects, but they are capable of much more than you can imagine.
These green, black, or orange creatures can wither and kill your plants in days. They feed on a plant’s sap and suck all the nutrients required to keep it alive. In addition, aphids make holes in the leaves of a plant, snatching it the chance to perform photosynthesis.
Besides, aphids love feeding on the roots and stems. They also eat up any fruit in your garden, leaving you with nothing to be proud of.
Aphids also carry viruses, so having them around isn’t safe for you and your pets. Moreover, when in large quantities, these bugs can destroy fields of crops, so there is no point left in not getting them out of your way.
But it isn’t as easy as it sounds. For example, many pesticides kill aphids, but they aren’t safe for your plants.
In addition, aphids are clever insects and are often protected by ants. Most people use other bugs, such as ladybugs, to feed on aphids and kill them. However, ants make sure that aphids crawl away from their predator.
So, which other method can keep aphids at bay and save your plants from an infestation?
Soapy Water to the Rescue
Once you have successfully identified the insects on your plants as aphids, you can create a strategy to control and kill them. And one of the most effective and non-toxic methods is soapy water.
Preparing a soap solution is no big deal. However, there are a few things that you should take care of when using this remedy.
- When preparing a soap mixture, go for a soap that doesn’t contain antibacterial agents, softeners, and degreasers. If it does, your solution may turn out harmful to the plants as well.
- Don’t use a detergent over a pure soap. It is because soap has animal fat essential to keep the aphids away. Detergents don’t have this fat or oil, so they aren’t effective against these insects.
- Finally, follow each step correctly so that the mixture isn’t too diluted or concentrated.
How to Prepare a Soap Solution
Here are all the steps to follow when preparing a soap water solution to eliminate aphids.
- Take one tablespoon of soap and mix it with one quart of water.
- If your garden has many plants to spray, increase the quantity of each component accordingly. For instance, you can add five tablespoons of soap to one gallon of water.
- Once done, shake the mixture well before pouring it into a cleaned spray bottle.
How to Use the Soap and Water Solution
After you are satisfied with the consistency of your soap water, you can start using it on your plants. First, start with a test spray and use the solution on a particular spot of the plant only. Then, wait for a day before spraying the entire plant with this solution.
This step is essential to avoid your plants being victims of any reaction. Before spraying your plants with this solution, make sure that your plants are not stressed and are well-watered.
Spray your plants consistently with the solution every morning or evening to reap its benefits. Ensure that aphids stay soaked for an extended time for this method to work.
When spraying, don’t neglect the undersides of the leaves. This is precisely where you can find most aphids hiding, so you have to ensure that your solution reaches them.
After you have used the solution for at least three days in a row, take a break for a week before starting the procedure all over again. Aphids won’t leave your plants until tackled consistently.
Can the Soap and Water Solution Also Kill the Eggs of Aphids?
No, it can’t. This mixture doesn’t have any impact on the eggs.
So, if the eggs hatch after you have carried out this method, the new aphids will quickly attack your plants again. Besides, those aphids that successfully ran away on your first spray session, may come back to invade your plants.
Therefore, it is essential to use the soap and water remedy for at least a month to six weeks. Moreover, spray the plants with this mixture after every rainfall.
Can You Wipe the Plants With Soapy Water Instead of Spraying?
Vigorous spraying is more effective as it kills aphids quickly. However, there are areas in which spraying can cause damage or mess. Moreover, a few plants are too delicate to bear the pressure of a spray.
So, in that case, you can wipe your plants with a wet cloth dipped in the soapy solution.
Do you love your plants and can’t see them suffer from the wrath of aphids? If yes, kill these insects right away, and get all the control over your plants again. Lucky for you, a soap and water solution can help eliminate aphids easily, and it is also one of the most non-toxic remedies.
However, this solution doesn’t work on aphids’ eggs or those insects who may have fled away. This is why it is imperative to be consistent with your approach and use the soap water religiously for a month at least.