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Dawn Dish Soap for Pest Control in Garden??? — The Grow Network Community
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Dawn Dish Soap for Pest Control in Garden???

I am wondering if all Dawn formulations are OK for pest control in the garden.

I see that it is recommended 1 1/4T per half gallon of water in a spray

However there are different formulations of the soap itself

Has anyone tried one vs the other?

I recently used the one that I have - Advanced Formula - and sprayed lightly at night before a rain to help with white flies. It really knocked out the plants and the white flies are still going strong!

Perhaps I had the spray made to strongly and maybe it is the type of Dawn I currently have.



  • ltwickeyltwickey Posts: 361 ✭✭✭

    I have used lemon scent dishsoap and not necessarily the name brand of dawn and it has worked quite well.

    Good luck!

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 581 ✭✭✭✭

    Yes, I use no name lemon-scented dishsoap, quite diluted with water, mixed with a wee bit of molasses so the bugs will want to eat it.

  • dipat2005dipat2005 Posts: 419 ✭✭✭

    @Annie Kate that is very clever to use molasses. I have used whatever I could find for dish soap and used it for Aphids on rosebushes. it stops them.

  • Lisa KLisa K Posts: 672 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I use Dawn because it cuts grease which is good for scale. I did try Safer Soap but it made my hands tingle so I went back to Dawn. Just one note of caution, I recommend rinsing off the plants after washing them with any kind of soap especially on warm days.

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 881 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020

    Oh - good point - I thought once it was sprayed that the spray needed to stay on the leaves - but it has been very harsh on the leaves @Lisa K

  • Lisa KLisa K Posts: 672 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @monica197 my dad learned that the hard way, he sprayed his Hibiscus without rinsing it and it dropped all of its leaves, the plant survived just looked a bit naked for a while.

  • SilkiemamuskaSilkiemamuska Posts: 99 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2020

    @monica197 I personally use any liquid soap on hand but never on the plants. Whenever I walk the garden I have a bucket for collecting and drowning bugs. Time consuming but then I do not harm the plants by forgetting to wash the soap off.🙄

    For aphids and whiteflies are are really out of control I choose to wash them off with water, or in extreme measures will dust them with DE ( diatomacious earth). I really try not to DE and allow the natural predators to move in. It is a balancing game for sure!

    Remember - a healthy, non stressed plant will generally not have pest problems so a little investigative work may show you what to do to help the plants not be so attractive to pest pressure.

  • annflancanannflancan Posts: 83 ✭✭✭

    I have a very shinny sticky substance all over my tree leaves. Does anyone know what this might be and how to treat it?

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,556 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @annflancan Sounds like aphid honeydew. Treat for aphids and the ants who herd them.

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 881 ✭✭✭✭

    From what I understand about neem oil - it does not kill them but rather interrupts their reproductive system thereby making reproduction impossible going forward so it addresses bug but in a different way.

    Ladybugs love aphids. I have purchased beneficials from here many times:

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,556 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @monica197 @annflancan The silly looking ladybag larvae are what eats the aphids -- know that if there are ants herding the aphids, the ants will defend the aphids from predators. Yes, the ants are literally farming the aphids.

  • Lisa KLisa K Posts: 672 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What I usually do is "wash" my plants once in March and possibly again in early April after that the beneficial insects usually show up.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 803 ✭✭✭✭

    My understanding in regards to Dawn is that it is to only be the original blue. In the bug spray I make sometimes I actually use Bronner's unscented along with some essential oils (I have some neem essential oil as well others) and some cayenne tincture (be sure to stay upwind lol).

  • ThomasThomas Posts: 81 ✭✭✭

    Funny, but I got a notice from the local Ag Center that 'home' soaps are not good for plants - commercial on the other hand are just fine.

    I don't know the truth to the statement, but I have used Dawn many a time. I only use it when I see an infestation of some thing or the other.

    I also believe that healthy plants attract little bug interest. But as an aside, I have had healthy pumpkin plants just covered in squash beetles.

  • annflancanannflancan Posts: 83 ✭✭✭

    This might be a strange question but are ladybugs around at all in the Fall/Winter seasons. I live in Central CA and our cold season is pretty mild (40s-50s)?

  • ThomasThomas Posts: 81 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2020

    @annflancan I live in NE Florida, which has mild winters also (compared to the rest of the US!). We have lady bugs galore even now in our 'Fall' weather. Our fall weather is high 70's, low 80's during the day, and hitting 50's-high 60's at night. But we should soon get our cold weather in November which will mean the end of them for this year.

    And, PS, "Boo" on the horrifyingly funny. :)

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 881 ✭✭✭✭

    That is a good question. From a quick web search I see that at 55 they are no longer able to fly. @annflancan

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 881 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for all of this insight - I was dealing with whiteflies on my eggplant this morning and I recalled this thread. I felt like I was better able to treat the plant because of our conversation here.

    Thank you

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