Does Ivory Soap Really Repel Flies?

The internet, depending on who you ask, it’s either the best thing ever or the worst thing to happen to humanity. Along with the internet, we got internet trends – crazy challenges or events on the ‘net that go viral.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of these because I’ve seen them go horribly, horribly wrong but this one is interesting. What’s the trend? Well, apparently you can use Ivory soap to repel flies. That sounds good but does it work?

No. While ivory soap can be used in insecticidal sprays to keep certain bugs off of your plants, hanging a bar of soap in the problem area won’t repel flies at all as the scent doesn’t linger for very long.

The Internet’s Latest Trend is Fly Repellent?

It seems like the internet is always coming up with something weird; every year there’s some new viral challenge doing the rounds.

These trends / challenges always cause chaos – does anyone remember the Tide-Pod challenge from 2018? How about the Cinnamon challenge from the year before, or the blue whale challenge from the year before that?

These are only three challenges that I could think of immediately, so you can understand my surprise when I found out about the latest trend being to repel flies.

What is Ivory Soap?

Developed in 1879 by the Procter and Gamble company, Ivory soap is the company’s oldest-selling product. It was billed as an inexpensive white soap that floated in water – hence the slogan ‘it floats’ – on the label.

Why did it float? Well, according to one story; there was an accident of sorts and air was mixed into the soap mixture which left it lighter than water.

Of course, that story was denied by the company and an archivist later found developer James Gamble’s notes on the product which confirmed that it was in fact a deliberate thing.

Does it Repel Flies?

Okay, so the idea is simple; stick a bar of soap into a thin mesh bag/net and hang it up in the problem area. The strong scent of the soap is somewhat unattractive to flies and other pests and drives them off. Sounds simple, but does it work? Well…yes, but not the way you’re thinking.

The bars of soap may drive the flies off for a bit, but the scent isn’t going to stay long; it’ll dissipate after a while and then you’ve got pests galore again. You’re going to be spending an awful lot on soap bars in the long run.

On the other hand, there is some evidence that you can use plain (unscented) ivory dishwashing liquid and water as a bug repellent. It’s mostly meant to be sprayed on your flowers/plants to keep garden pests at bay and it won’t work on all pests, but it does work fairly well for most of them.

Sorry To Burst Your Bubble…

So no, ivory soap bars don’t repel flies, but you can mix dish soap and water to make an insecticidal spray for your plants to keep them safe from specific pests.

I hope you guys and gals enjoyed the article and found it informative and helpful. As always, I’d like to say thanks very much for reading; it’s greatly appreciated. I’ll see you all in the next one but until then take care and stay safe!

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