Breaking the pest cycle with Oleum

It’s been a week or more since I last wrote on my blog. This is one of our busiest periods at work. My wife took care of my trees during this time. She did a very good job might I add.

I changed the enclosure I have my trees in to adapt to the drought. I needed my trees to stay moist all day as my wife could not come home during lunch to water my trees on the other side we also need to cut down on our water usage. I covered my trees with a shading net to keep the harsh sun from drying out the containers and to keep the humidity levels slightly higher. Only downside now is with moist and high humidity I created the perfect breeding ground for pests. I got home over the weekend and found signs of pests on a few of my trees.

I usually do not like using pesticides on my trees as I fear burning them and secondly I found that if your trees are health you need not spray them with pesticides. I started using Oleum white oil as a treatment to my pest problem. As Oleum oil is very low in toxicity I apply it weekly (I have heard someone say that he has had good results where he used the product once every 4 days) as needed till the tree has no more signs of pests. Oleum is highly effective so you see results quickly. How it works is; it smothers the pests and kills the eggs. You need to cover the entire tree (above and below the leaves).  I just need to caution the over usage of the product, as it also smothers the leaves. If you apply to often (every day) the leaves can’t breathe through the oil on the leaves which causes the tree to suffocate. On the instruction page, there is also a caution not to use this product on peach trees. If you have sprayed your trees with lime Sulphur I would advise you not to use Oleum.

Why I use Oleum:

  • Cost effective
  • Can be used on a wide variety of pests
  • Easy to use
  • Odorless

How to mix:

To control Red, Purple, Mussel, Pernicious and Soft Brown Scale, Mealy bug, Australian

Bug, Bud mite and Red Spider mite:

  • 200 mℓ of OLEUM to 10 liters’ water.
  • Spray during the cool part of the day.
  • Do not spray when the plants are in flower.

Citrus should be sprayed only between the time the fruit reaches walnut size and two months before picking.

DECIDUOUS FRUIT ORNAMENTAL TREES AND SHRUBS IN LEAF

To control Aphids and Red Spider mite: 100 mℓ

  • OLEUM to 10 liters’ water.

DECIDUOUS FRUIT, ORNAMENTAL TREES AND SHRUBS

(Dormant spray)

To control Red, Purple, Mussel, Pernicious, Soft Brown Scale and Woolly aphid. Mealy

bug and Bryobia mite eggs:

  • 300 mℓ OLEUM to 10 liters’ water.

Apply in winter when trees are fully dormant.

The above mentions directions of use were copied from the manufactures website: http://www.efekto.co.za/wp-content/uploads/mixing_labels/OLEUM_2012.pdf

I use 10 mℓ OLEUM to 1 liter of water.

When to apply Oleum:

  • as soon as you start seeing pests
  • during the dormant period of a tree (I will usually apply a stronger mixture of 20 mℓ Oleum to 1 Liter of water)
  • a day before a show or auction. Your trees will be exposed to many other trees and a change of environment. A small confined, humid space like school hall is the ideal space for pests to move from one tree to another. It does not just works to prevent pests from invading your tree but the foliage looks much greener during the show.

There are other ways of preventing infections as well as other pesticides and insecticides. I just like using what I feel comfortable with. I also tend to stay away from systemic pesticides as a too strong mixture can kill your trees.

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