Earlier I wrote about Junior the lemon tree and his problem with scale. When I took a closer look at Junior I noticed that he was covered with things that looked like white grains of sand. There were also tiny ants crawling all over. I’m not sure if the white bits are aphids or scale. Both aphids and scale give off honey-dew and that attracts ants. Ants will actually “milk” aphids to extract the honey-dew. Yuck! I’m not sure what those white things are so I’m going treat the scale and hope the ants and the unidentified white things disappear too.
I’ve come up with a treatment plan. I’m going to use white oil. White oil is used on a large variety of insects. It works by suffocating the bugs. I also like the fact that it’s not toxic to humans and doesn’t contain any poisons.
White Oil Recipe
1 Cup cooking oil
1 teaspoon dish washing liquid
1/2 cup of water
I put the ingredients in a cleaned peanut butter jar and shook thoroughly. As you can see white oil really is white in color.
To use white oil dilute 1 tablespoon of the substance in 1 liter of water. Put the diluted mixture in a spray bottle and spray over the entire plant. Be sure to get both sides of the leaves. Don’t do this when it’s too hot outside or you’ll burn the leaves. Reapply every 10 to 14 days. (White oil isn’t recommended for palms, ferns or plants with hairy leaves.)
In addition the white oil treatments I’m going to repot the lemon tree in about a month. I’ll let you know how it goes.