Plants in pest control
- Horticultural oil sprays
Horticultural oils are concentrated and must be mixed with water. Spray 2% solution against insects and mites. To make a 2% solution, pour 1/3-cup oil into a 1-gallon container, and then fill with water to make a 1-gallon solution. For a 3%
solution, start with œ cup of oil. Apply successive sprays at least 6 weeks apart. You can apply 1% oil solution by mixing 2.5 tbsp of oil in 1 gallon of water (Ellis; Bradley, 1996: pp. 479-480).
Application of Vaseline, camphor, eucalyptus oils should be tested on small area, prior to large scale spraying, because as some leaves are sensitive to these oils.
If done for the first time, ask for assistance from your local agricultural office.
- Use high-pressure water jet treatment to dislodge dead scales from trees following mineral oil spray and biocontrol agents (Whiting, D. et al. 1998: pp. 211-215). It is important to remove dead scales remaining on the plant because this
will ensure protection against newly hatched scales. To dislodge living scales is to use a forceful jet of water to 'power wash' them from barks (Gilrien, 2001).
- Remove soft scales from twigs with the soft brush or with one's fingernails (Ellis; Bradley, 1996: p. 321). Once mature scales are rubbed off, their mouthparts are broken. They will not survive to infest the plant (Olkowski; Daar; Olkowski, 1991: p. 377).
- Use soft cloth and soapy water to remove soft scales from leaves; then rinse leaves well (Ellis; Bradley, 1996: p. 321).
- Employ a dry or alcohol-dipped cotton swab to rub-off and kill scales (Olkowski; Daar; Olkowski, 1991: p. 377).