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can my plants be saved from me?

I've had a HUGE stink bug infestation. I've been spraying with a few drops of dawn in my sprayer. Nothing. So then I read an article that said the best way to kill them is to put 3/4c of dawn in my large spray bottle. Having lost all of my broccoli and a good amount of my mustard greens, I gave it a shot. It has completely turned all of my leaves brown. I tried to wash it all off a day later (today). Have I just killed my garden or is there some way to salvage my plants?

Posts: 13984
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

That is too much soap and you probably can't save your plants. BTW soap sprays only work on soft bodied insects like aphids and mealy bugs but not on beetles or bugs which have hard shells.

Stink bugs are hard to control under any circumstance especially organically. The best would be to use insect netting before they become a problem.

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 787
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:35 pm
Location: Upper Piedmont area of Virginia, Zone 7a

Arrgggh!!! Sorry AliClark, but whoever wrote that article you read should be hung, drawn, & quartered (unless you read it wrong). Pure soap (of any type) should NEVER be applied to plants. It's certain death. Authentic & efficient organic pest spray recipes call for just a mere drop or two of dish soap added to the rest of the ingredients to act only as a spreader/adherent to help the spray ingredients stick to the plant. The soap itself does zip/zero/nada as far as killing the pests. Spraying 100% gloppy soap all over your plants effectively smothered the plants themselves; the pests are probably looking on doing a happy dance.

Thankfully, depending on WHERE YOU ARE LOCATED (posting that info is ALWAYS a good idea when asking for gardening help), you're at the perfect point in the season to begin again with quite a few Fall crops. And an added bonus is that Fall crops are far less susceptible to pests & diseases. Not immune, but less susceptible.

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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Agree with everything G.Cook said. Dawn is detergent and detergent burns and (especially if not well diluted) can kill plants.

And soap sprays are as G.Cook noted, not particularly effective on adult stink bugs, though may help some against juveniles.

They are a pretty difficult pest to deal with. Here's a thread where I wrote some about stinkbug control: ... ug#p361926

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