Homemade Non-toxic Bug Spray
The following recipe (original published in the USDA's Agricultural Research Magazine, November, 1992) works very well for control of mealybugs and other small insects on houseplants.
- Add one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent to one cup of vegetable oil (peanut, safflower, corn, soybean, or sunflower).
- When ready to use, shake this solution well and mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of it into 1 cup of water.
- Spray the mixture directly on insects, using a pump sprayer like the one that comes with plastic bottles of window cleaner.
- Check plants for insects every 7 to 10 days or so, and spray again as needed.
Note that the above recipe is for a concentrate which must be diluted before use.
The following is a simple recipe for 1 pint (500 ml) of solution which can be sprayed directly:
- 10 drops (0.5 ml) dishwashing soap
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) cooking oil
- 1 pint (500 ml) water
Shake thoroughly before spraying.