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Sodium lauryl sulfate: no residual action, or just very weak?

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  1. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

    Joined: Mar '11
    Posts: 249


    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 0:26:22

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    Sodium lauryl sulfate (aka sodium dodecyl sulfate, SLS, SDS, and "soap") is well known as a contact killer: if you spray it directly on bugs, they die. That works in agricultural as well as household use. In outdoor conditions, obviously, in very short order there's not going to be any soap residue left. Outdoors, it's definitely contact-only, as discussed for example here.

    But it seems as though indoors there would be a little soap residue there until it gets washed away. It also seems as though a bug walking through soap residue would have its cuticle become slightly more permeable, and be slightly more prone to dehydration. Obviously, this will not kill bugs outright all by itself. But anything that causes a slight increase in the natural mortality rate -- and does so very cheaply, very safely, and very easily -- is worth considering for inclusion in the normal routine.

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