The Benefits of Dormant Oil Sprays
Damaging pests can overwinter on trees and plants and can quickly become difficult to manage as it warms up in the spring. Wood boring bark beetle, Scale insect, Aphids and Spider Mites in particular may be best controlled with a preventative Dormant Oil spray in early spring.
Due to the extreme heat and drought stress that occurred last
summer and fall, many trees and shrubs in our landscapes will be prone to secondary insect and disease issues beginning in the spring. If left unchecked, the potential for abnormally high insect populations will be more than plants can naturally handle.
For examle, the wood boring bark beetle lays eggs in bark crevices along the trunks of trees and shrubs. When this happens, they begin boring through the cambium tissue cutting off the flow of water and nutrients in the plant, ultimately causing the plant to dehydrate and starve.
Scale insects can cover the stems of plants, causing severe damage and stress to several varieties of trees and shrubs. Once attached to the stem or leaf tissue, scale insects feed on the chlorophyll of the plant, leaving it deprived of the necessary nutrients to thrive. If left untreated plants can decline and eventually die. The hard shell of scale insects protects many from insecticides, limiting methods and timing of control measures.
Most varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials are vulnerable to the many different aphid species. These insects suck the sap from plant stems causing stunted growth which can eventually lead to plant death. Some aphids may survive
control methods throughout the year and overwinter, reproducing rapidly and giving them a head start in spring.
Spider mites can cause unattractive leaf damage on a wide variety of trees, shrubs and perennials. Closely related to spiders, mites are highly resistant to most pesticides. As weather warms, the female will start to lay eggs. Adults will feed on the underside of leaves and can kill severely damaged leaves.
When sprayed in late winter or early spring just before plants leaf out, Dormant oils can be very effective in controlling scale insects, aphids, wood boring bark beetles and spider mites by smothering both adults, juveniles and over-wintering egg masses. When applied correctly by a Plant Care Specialist, Dormant Oil is one of the safest pest management options. It can manage these insects while providing protection for plants without damaging them. For more information on these landscape pests click here.