In the Mid Atlantic Region, early March is the time to apply Oil Spray to protect fruit trees, shade trees, roses, and vegetables from harmful insects. The Great Big Greenhouse recommends Bonide All Season Oil Spray to control the initial infestations of: red spiders, scale, aphids, bud moths, leaf rollers, coddling moths, galls, white flies, mealy bugs, and many other insects.
During the growing season oil spray can be added to other insecticides to increase their effectiveness.
Oils have been used for centuries to control insects on fruit trees, shade trees, and woody ornamentals. Modern science has improved oil sprays to be helpful on herbaceous plants like flowers and vegetables. Modern oil spray also helps control some plant diseases such as powdery mildew. Please read the label before applying any chemicals in your landscape to make sure you are following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Oil sprays work by blocking air holes that harmful insects need to breathe through causing them to suffocate. Modern oil sprays pose very few risks to people or beneficial insects. Toxicity is low compared to other chemical controls, and oil sprays evaporate leaving very little residue.
Some plants such as redbud, junipers, maples, and spruce are sensitive to oil sprays. Avoid applying oil spray to these species of plants.
Apply oil sprays when temperatures are above freezing and below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply when plants are dry and rain is not forecasted for 6-8 hours.