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Insect Control for Citrus Trees
There is nothing better tasting and more healthy for you than homegrown fruits and vegetables. These plants you have nurtured and cared for through out the season or through the years. You know what has gone into the plants, from the water, to which pesticide you used. Chances you are not eating something you have chemically altered or changed. When you can or preserve your produce, the chances are equally great that you did not add preservatives, MSG, conditioners, color enhancers or high fructose corn syrup into the mix. To be honest, it is time to get back to pure and natural ingredients and that could be the biggest reason why we garden. This week’s article is about getting rid of insects on your lime, lemon or other citrus trees that you grow whether indoors or outdoors. It can be done effectively and easily, especially if done right away. In warmer regions of zone 9 and higher, the lemon trees can grow outdoors. Any region that is lower than zone 9 the lemon trees needs to grow indoors during the cold winter months.
It is important to check your lime, lemon or other citrus trees throughout the season. By doing this, you will save your tree and the citrus fruit before the insects can do much damage. You will save your tree and the fruit it produces without adding harmful ingredients to taint the fruit. When you do find problems in your trees, you need to determine what kind of insects are attacking so you can treat them effectively.
Mix up one tablespoon of white oil or cooking oil to one gallon of water. Spray this onto the lemon tree to control scale insects. The oil blocks their breathing and it suffocates them. If the tree is small, dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol. Use this to wash them away. You may need to do numerous applications to get rid of scale as they have a habit of returning.
Mix up some insecticidal soap according to label instructions to control aphids and spider mites. You can also make your own mixture of insecticidal soap. It is quick and easy to do. Simply mix one tablespoon of dish soap with one quart of water. Pour this into a sprayer and begin to spray your citrus trees. Of course, if you have more than one tree, you will need to mix up a lot of this soap spray. However, it is especially handy and convenient for trees that are grown indoors.
Spray Them With Water
When your citrus tree is outdoors, take up your water hose. Spray a concentrated blast of water over the tree. This will help wash away and remove black citrus aphid.
Leaf Miners and Gall Wasps
If you have leaf miners or gall wasp, you will want to prune the infected areas away. Leaf miners are insects that live inside the leaf tissues. Leaf miners are easy to recognize because they distort young leaves. The leaves will also take on a silvery appearance. If your citrus tree has gall wasp, this will cause the stems to look thickened or lumpy in appearance. Beneath the lumps is where the wasps have laid their eggs. You need to remove these sections from the tree and destroy them.
Disposal of Clippings
If you are disposing of leaf miners, simply throw the infected branches away or burn them. Do not use any of the pruned remains for your compost pile. Disposing of the branches that the gall wasp has infected takes a different method. You can burn them or put them into a black plastic bag. Seal the end tightly and place the bag where the sun shines for most of the day. Leave it alone for several weeks. After that time, you can safely throw it away.
Spread some diatomaceous earth around the base of your lemon tree. This will cut through the outer layer of bugs before then can crawl up and do any damage. This is an effective way to control ants, slugs and snails. Diatomaceous earth is a natural product. It is comprised of tiny fossilized water plants that lived thousands of years ago.
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