Tent caterpillars and ammonia
Today I noticed many caterpillar tents crawling with hundreds of thousands of tiny caterpillars writhing within them. This was in about 25 crotches of my apple tree which is an old apple tree with many woodpecker holes in it. This was my parents' fuji tree.
I remember my Dad saying they used to spray gasoline or kerosene on them. I definitely needed to commit insecticide and I didn't have time to send off for BT. I needed something fast, and really prefer no petrol products around food. Something under the sink would take care of it. I went for the spray bottle with the diluted Murphy's Oil Soap and filled it up the rest of the way with ammonia. It seemed lethal enough, while it seemed like nitrogen and hydrogen wouldn't likely harm an old apple tree. So I climbed up and tore open the sacks I could get to with a long stick and sprayed this ammonia mixture into the crotches.
Well it was gross, foaming and turning into a russet goo. I think it killed them! Since the tree is old and it's dermis is compromised (is the bark called a "dermis"?)I rinsed it off after.
Has anybody else used ammonia spray on plants? I never heard of it before, that I remember. What are the guidelines for spraying ammonia on plants? Or did I just kill the old apple tree?
Thanks in advance for your input.