Homemade insecticide

themilkdud05(5a)June 16, 2014

I have done a pretty good job keeping my garden somewhat organic. Most seeds organic, used compost and I use fish emulsion and seaweed for fertilizer. But today I made a homemade insecticide and used dawn soap. I read something about not using sodium lauryl sulfate and of course the dawn I used has it in it. Realized it after I sprayed it all over my plants. Am I ok with the one application or I am being paranoid???

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Homemade does not equal organic.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 10:42PM
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apg4

Took a seminar on greenhouse management at the local botanical garden. The takeaway was what they used on all soft-bodied insects in the GH - which was an acre in size: a drop (or 2) of Dawn, a capful of 95% isopropanol in a quart sprayer of water. Swirl (don't shake). Spray.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 11:25PM
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lauraeli_

If you are worried about it, feel free to rinse it off afterwards :-) that's what I do.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 11:33PM
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butterfly4u

themilkdud,
Lauraeli is right.
A little tiny bit would not kill your plants.
They sell the cheap, old fashioned dish soap usually in dollar stores. I think regular stores probably have it too.
Plain, old dish soap.
Little tiny bit.
It kills soft bodied insects, not hard bodied.
For hard bodied, like beatles, you use Organicide.
HD sells it.
A little goes a long way with that too, and it smells terrible, but it works.
I think the beatles can't stand the smell and leave.
LOL!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 11:41PM
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themilkdud05(5a)

thanks everyone for your feedback... i wasn't so much worried about it being "organic" just read something I didn't like about SLS ingredient in the dawn soap and wanted to make sure it wasn't a big concern.

This post was edited by themilkdud05 on Thu, Jun 19, 14 at 23:08

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 12:06AM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

There is nothing harmful about sodium lauryl sulfate. It's just a surfactant. You can find scaremongering on the Internet about every chemical compound on this planet, including water.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 1:23AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Dawn is not an acceptable organic product because it is made from nonrenewable resources, it is a synthetic product.
To make Insecticidal Soap use soaps that have been made by reacting animal fats with lye.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 6:53AM
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conchitaFL(10 Hutchinson Island)

To make Insecticidal Soap use soaps that have been made by reacting animal fats with lye.

Although I'm not an organic gardener, I do try to avoid pesticides as much as possible, but I'm increasing perplexed by this. Can you name some soaps where this is the case? Everything I can find these days has switched to using vegetable fats instead. I'd be very grateful for some suggestions, kimmsr.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:31AM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

There is nothing wrong with vegetable-fat-based soap, conchita. I believe what kimmsr means is naturally made soap without additives. Actually, plant-based soap is far, far better from a philosophical standpoint if you're an organic gardener.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:09AM
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conchitaFL(10 Hutchinson Island)

Yes, I understand the philosophical advantage, but I thought it was supposedly the acids in animal fat that were the important part (aside from just washing off pests)?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 12:29PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Kimmsr is referring to true soaps, rather than detergents....though most true soaps are plant based now, and rely on plant oils instead of animal fats.

There are loads of these products on the market, none use SLS in their manufacturing process. I suspect that liquid soaps are easier to use for home brewed insecticides than the bar soaps, but both formulations are available. Dr. Bonner is one brand, Tom's, any castille soap, etc. I use Green Mountain liquid soap because it's made in my city. Visit a health food store or grocery chain known to carry organic stuff.

But I do not use it to make insecticidal soap. For that purpose, I purchase the commercial product . It's organic, has a label with real instructions, has no additives that can harm plants. Insecticidal soaps are true soaps...but more stable and effective than the homemade mixtures. And usually less harmful to plant tissues.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 1:06PM
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conchitaFL(10 Hutchinson Island)

Thanks, rhizo. Very helpful.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 1:27PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

But today I made a homemade insecticide and used dawn soap.... Realized it after I sprayed it all over my plants.

==>>> listen dud ... no one experiments.. by spraying ALL THEIR PLANTS ... that is where your potential failure is/was ...experiemnt first with a select few ...

lets be a little more careful while experimenting ... and then you will avoid the panic ...

you might also want to take a course in IPM ... wherein it is suggested.. that you ONLY react to a known problem ... rather than treating all your plants for the hell of it ...

i note in your fact scenario.. that other than coming up with this new formula... you dont note that you actually had anything that was a target of your spray .. and many sprays are contact kills.. so spraying when there is nothing there.. is useless ...

one might suggest.. you are about as far from organic as you could be.. especially in regard to spraying for no real reason ... mostly because.. you probably killed all the beneficials without having a predator target

ken

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 9:01AM
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themilkdud05(5a)

Wow Ken, sorry for even bringing the word organic into this topic. I was just simply stating I am doing my best to stay away from chemicals and unnecessary store bought sprays, fertilizers, etc. My post wasn't about being organic or not... I simply asked about Dawn soap and a certain ingredient (SLS) in the soap that I was unsure about using that I discovered may be harmful after I sprayed it on my plants. I was having an aphid issue with my dill and beetles of some sort on tomatoes. You seemed to hit me with everything but the one thing I asked about. Once again sorry if I offended anyone with the word "organic" and thank you all for your responses.

This post was edited by themilkdud05 on Thu, Jun 19, 14 at 22:54

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 10:40AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

The best Aphid control is just a sharp spray of water to knock the wee buggers off the plant. There is no real need to add anything to the water. While some advocate lugging a hose around to do that I find it quite cumbersome and a 1 quart spray bottle works quite well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aphid comtrol

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 11:54AM
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Andrewmdesir

I have a small vegetable farm with different crops. But some small animals like moose, raccoons attack it always. I have tried many pest control methods to avoid it but was of no use. Is there any good humane control method to avoid this attack? I read some methods of The Hawkeye Bird and Animal Control specialist at Toronto. But I want to know whether it really works or not?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 6:31AM
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lazy_gardens

Kimmsr said, Dawn is not an acceptable organic product because it is made from nonrenewable resources, it is a synthetic product.
To make Insecticidal Soap use soaps that have been made by reacting animal fats with lye.

FFS! ... at least use Wikipedia before you make your pronouncements about acceptable or not:

"Being derived from inexpensive coconut and palm oils, it is a common component of many domestic cleaning products."

========
And is it OK for a vegetarian or vegan to use soaps made from DEAD ANIMALS?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 6:56AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

The best method of keeping animals, large (Moose) or small (raccoons and rabbits) away from the plants you want them to leave along is a barrier around that plant. Some of my planting beds are 4 x 4 so making a cage that fits around that bed is fairly simple, just be sure to use a small enough mesh fabric to exclude what might get in there. A top may also be necessary since thingys such as raccoons will climb.
A frame of 4 foot long 2 x 2's can be constructed to fit around that 4 x 4 plot so it is easily removed to work on that plot.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 6:58AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Milkdud, most of us that visit this forum are very interested in finding the solutions that create the least problems for non target organisms and the environment. Good for you for being part of that community. The word 'organic ' is tossed around, sometimes with not much understanding of what it means.

Regarding your use of SLS.....unless you purchase specialty hand and body soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, and dish soaps...or make them yourself.....you are intimately exposed to SLSs several times a day. Right?

IF I was going to use Dawn on my plants, I'd be far far more concerned about the grease busters, fragrances, dyes and other additives that can combine to cause actual plant damage.

Insecticidal soaps can be a very useful tool for thoughtful, conscientious gardeners like you! Commercial products are your safest and most effective option.

Don't let ken put you off from returning here often. His communication skills leave a lot to be desired, but he means well.?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 11:09AM
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