Since starting to garden a few years ago, I haven't really had much of a problem with bugs. Seems my luck has worn off a this year though. At the beginning of the season the bugs were eating more than my plants could grow! I've actually had to replace several of my plants because the bugs ate them down to stubs.
Although I grudgingly share our backyard with bugs, this was going way too far. The bugs should not get to eat more out of our garden than we do! But I didn't like the idea of spraying a bunch of chemicals on the plants that would be (hopefully) growing the food that my family would eat.
I had heard about a homemade soap spray that was supposed to get rid of pretty much any bug so I decided to give it a try. From what I've read, it's about 3 teaspoons of dish soap to one gallon of water. But who has a one gallon jug with a spray nozzle attached?! So I washed out (really well) an old glass cleaner bottle and mixed 1 teaspoon of soap with enough water to fill the bottle. Then I sprayed my plants and crossed my fingers.
It worked! It worked really really well! And you can do it weekly if you have a serious bug problem. I used it on every single plant and didn't have any problems. One of the best parts was that my girls could do it too. They beg to be involved in the gardening (except weeding...can't even bribe them to do that) and this was something that would be safe for them to do and really helpful to me. Win win.
And here's an extra tip because I'm feeling generous. Fill the bottle with water before adding the soap. It's much faster that way. I might just know that from personal experience.