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Can Dish Soap Stop Pests on Your Lawn?

A healthy lawn is bright green on a sunny day.
Nick Beer/Shutterstock.com

Lawn pests can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. If you work hard to keep your yard looking green and healthy, insects and other pesky critters can feel like public enemy number one. There are plenty of lawn and gardening hack people use to keep pests off of their lawns—including dish soap.

But will dish soap work to kill pests? As it turns out, yes, but it will likely kill your lawn in the process.

The chemical found in dish soap—sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)—is highly effective when it comes to killing pests. It breaks down their cell walls like it’s removing grease from a plate. Gross, but true. However, that same chemical could cause your grass to turn brown and die within a day if it’s not properly diluted with vegetable oil and water.

Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar With the Mother---USDA Certified Organic

An all-natural solution to get rid of pesky pests.

Instead, consider some safe alternative methods that are just as effective and won’t kill your grass. Apple cider vinegar, for example, is naturally acidic, so it quickly kills insects that come in contact with it and can work as a preventative to keep them out of your yard. You’ll still need to dilute the vinegar before use, though. For every ounce of vinegar, use three ounces of water in a spray bottle.

Used coffee grounds are another great option. While you might love the smell of coffee, insects hate it. Place a bowl of used grounds in your yard and they’ll stay away. You can even light the grounds on fire once they’re dry to make the smell even stronger!

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to keep pests away from your lawn. So stay away from dish soap, and keep your grass green.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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