Did you experience a magnolia scale infestation last year? How about other scale species, mites, aphids, sawfly, ash flower gall or honey locust plant bug? Dormant oil allows homeowners the opportunity to get a jumpstart on the season and target many pests that were a nuisance in previous years. Dormant oil is an oily product that is sprayed on the plant foliage prior to the beginning of spring and before new plant growth begins. It is relatively safe, in that it does little to harm beneficial insects, birds, and animals.

Many of the pests targeted by dormant oil are difficult to control, due to their body types and lifecycle growth. Dormant oil coats the plant and suffocates the pest during their vulnerable lifecycle stage. Dormant oil is effective against scale varieties that overwinter in the nymph or adult stage, which include cottony maple, euonymus, lecanium and magnolia scale. Mite varieties that are targeted by dormant oil overwinter as eggs on their host plant. The exposed eggs are particularly vulnerable to control methods. Dormant oil is effective against honey locust mites, European red mites and spruce spider mites.

Keep in mind that more than one application may be necessary to control severe infestations or to safeguard against new pest development.

It’s not too late to reap the benefits from this treatment in your own landscape this year. Contact the Plant Health Care department with any questions and to have a Certified Arborist evaluate your property.  Our Certified Arborists are trained to properly diagnose and provide treatment options best suited for your landscape needs.

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