At ArborCare Tree Service Ltd., serving Western Canada, one of the tools we use to combat insects is Safer® brand insecticidal soap, a non-toxic insecticide-miticide that offers effective control and a wide margin of safety to the consumer, pets and the environment. Insecticidal soap is most effective on soft-bodied insects such as aphids, mites, whitely and mealy bugs. Once the spray solution has dried, the product is no longer active.
Soap has been used for centuries as an all-purpose pesticide. When sprayed on insects, insecticidal soap breaks down the insect's protective coating and causes it to dehydrate and die. Insecticidal soap is very different than dishwashing soap. It is specially formulated with fatty acids to kill insects. Dishwashing soap, on the other hand, contains perfumes and dyes, and in a concentrated form it can be harmful to plants.
Safer’s insecticidal soap concentration consists of 50% potassium salts of fatty acids extracted from plant and animal oils. These fatty acid active ingredients are a common part of our daily diet. Inert ingredients in the formulation are a mixture of alcohol and water. No inorganic solvents or other ingredients are used.
When using Safer's insecticidal soap, spray it directly onto the insects when they are first sighted on a plant's buds, shoots, stems, bark including the underside of leaves. Insecticidal soap is considered non-toxic to humans, pets, and the environment. The product is non-residual, readily biodegradable, and does not accumulate in the food chain.