Bonide Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew

Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew (along with having one of the best names for a pesticide) is one of the best organic insecticides available on the market. It is one of the best because it is both a natural, organic product and it also has a very wide range of insects that it controls and is very effective in doing so.

Helpful Links Regarding Pesticides:


How to Use Pesticides Safely & Effectively
Our Pesticide Disclaimer for Controversial Products & Pollinators

How to Use & When to Apply:

Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew should be applied when plants are actively growing and either before or during active insect infestations are present. Simply spray (or dust) the product onto the foliage and let the chemical work its magic. Rule of thumb is to spray when leaves are dry and to dust when leaves are slightly moist. Spray when temperatures are mild and rain is not expected for at least 24 hours.

Since spinosad, the active ingredient, is a compound that attacks the central nervous system of insects, it will take about 1-2 days for complete kill. The insects become paralyzed and may remain on the plants- even if they are no longer living.

Spinosad has an interesting history and background. In 1892, a scientist was vacationing in the Caribbean when he discovered a bacteria named Saccharopolyspora spinosa on the grounds of an old abandoned rum distillery. Apparently it was discovered because a certain crop was being devastated by an insect–except in one particular spot where a soil sample was taken. Eventually, a compound called spinosad was formed from this bacteria and is now in many insects on the market today, including Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew.


Kills: Major insect targets include bagworms, borers, beetles, caterpillars, codling moth, gypsy moth, loopers, leaf miners, spider mites, tent caterpillars, and thrips, and it also attacks dozens and dozens of other species.

Pros to Using Bonide Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew

  • The active ingredient spinosad is organic
  • Available in many different liquid forms and as a dust
  • Great natural alternative to Sevin with similar range of insects controlled

Cons to Using Bonide Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew

  • It’s nonselective, meaning it will kill all insects, including beneficial pollinators
  • Does not “instantly kill”–while it is fairly quick acting, it is not a contact insecticide like Sevin

Available Sizes:

Helpful Link: How to Use Pesticides in Their Various Forms

Bonide Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew 32 Ounce Ready to Use

This size works best for quick spot treatments around the garden. Already comes premixed with water in a ready to use bottle so you can use it immediately. No mixing required. Per ounce cost is higher than in concentrate form. 

Bonide Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew 32 Ounce Ready to Spray Hose End

Great for larger gardens. Simply attach the sprayer into the garden hose and turn on. Chemical will mix itself and apply thoroughly to your garden. Works well in situations where your entire garden is getting attacked by insects or if you want to use Deadbug Brew as more of a preventative before you get invaded. Far reach–up to 18 feet with proper water pressure. 

Bonide Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew 16 Ounce Concentrate

Mix in a spray tank according to the label directions for the pest you are trying to control. This is the “best bang for your buck” size as a concentrate will allow you to get many sprays out of one bottle of chemical. Keep stored in a cool, dry place for reuse. 

Bonide Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew 4 Pound Dust 

Same active ingredient as the liquids, just in a different form! The dust is an old favorite of many gardeners and should be applied when leaves are slightly moist so that proper stickage is achieved. 

Recommended by Matt

Hello and welcome! I'm Matt and I started Mid Atlantic Gardening to help gardeners in the Mid Atlantic (and beyond!) with their lawn and garden problems and issues.

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