outdoor plant bug killer

by Barbara Cabezas
(No. Kingstown, RI)

My friend says you can mix tea tree oil with water and it gets milky white. Then use your spray bottle outdoors for plants that the bugs keep making holes in the leaves as an alternative for toxic sprays and powders, but I don't know the ratio of oil to water.

Editors Reply

Barbara. That's a great use for tea tree oil. You may actually get a better result by adding not only tea tree oil to the water, but a little liquid potassium soap as well.

Potassium soaps are commonly used as insect sprays on plants because they are considered non toxic to people and pets. A soap like this will emulsify the tea tree oil and allow it to be sprayed on the plants evenly and keep it suspended in the water.

There are several brands on the market, but perhaps the best known of them is Dr Bronner's Sal Suds.




Homemade insect spray for plants


The dilution is simple. Mix together one or two teaspoons of Dr Bronner's Sal Suds, and one teaspoon of tea tree oil in a one quart spray bottle. When you stir it up, the solution will become milky white, then, add water to fill the spray bottle.

Some people find it effective to add a tincture of cayenne, or additional essential oils like Peppermint, Lavender, Wormwood, and Cedar.

Have you tried Neem Oil?


Neem Oil is being used, sometimes in combination with tea tree oil to get rid of a variety of pests in the home and garden. This is a really exciting option that has become available in recent years.

Derived from the Neem Tree, Neem Oil is being used in home, garden, and personal care products for 100's of uses. It's a safer alternative to many of the chemical based products out there.

At the least, you'll have a fragrant garden, and you may be able to drive away any bugs that the Sal Suds fails to eliminate.


Good Luck to you!

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