Can I kill scale with vegetable oil?

mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)December 19, 2013

I tried using fish fertilizer to kill scale but it didn't work. I heard you can suffocate the insects with Horticultural Oil. I do not have access to horticultural oil at the moment. I was wondering if I can kill scale with vegetable oil? Thanks a bunch.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

oh macgyver... always thinking outside that box.. lol .. man i miss that show ...

no.. its to thick ... it will work.. as it suffocates your plant ... issue solved .. lol ...

what in the world made you think a FERTILIZER would act as an bug killer???

scrape them off with your finger nail or a toothpick ... sprays arent the answer to everything ...

ken

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 1:12PM
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mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)

Well, someone said to use Fish Emulsion and all I could find was Fish Fertilizer. I asked if it would work as well and he said it might. So, I gave it a shot... problem unresolved. XD

So, it has to be Horticultural oil or it will suffocate my plants?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 1:39PM
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mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)

Oh, and to the one who mentioned it (I can't remember your username) thanks for the thought. I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 1:41PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Ignore ken....please.

Fish emulsion has been recommended BECAUSE of the emulsified oil that it is comprised of. It can be helpful in smothering some pests and their eggs, thougb scale insects might be tough. Fish emulsion is never legally recommended for pest control, but many have found it useful for pest problems on their indoor plants.

The use of pantry vegetable oil can be VERY problematic. You must first make a very thin emusion....do you know how to do that? Plain veggie oil will clog the stomata, which can harm the leaves. If the problem is on plants in the landscape....forget it!

A commercial hort.oil is hugely beneficial in the control of many pests. It's the first organic recommendation for scale insects and has been for a couple of generations. I wish that I could tell you how to make an emulsion from veggie oil. It needs to be so refined that you can't tell where you've sprayed.

What kind of plants are you talking about?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 7:25AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Horticultural oils, which can be either a petroleum byproduct or a vegetable oil, are usually diluted to about 2 percent oil in water with an emulsifying agent added to keep the oil in suspension. You could mix your own oil spray providing you could be sure of the proper mix and that the oil would stay in suspension so when you spray you are actually spraying some oil. Spraying a dormant oil at this time of year would not harm plants, although spraying a dormant oil instead of a superior oil when plants are all leafed out can cause problems.
I have never been to a garden center anywhere that did not have horticultural oils for sale, but if there is not one nearby you can still order the stuff on line. Using prepared horticultural oil is simply much easier then trying to mix your own.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 7:43AM
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mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)

Plants I'm worrying about are:

Parlor Palm Cluster(Which I have found actual scale insects on a frond), my precious needle and mexican fan palms, my very dear Citrus trees (Lemon Orange and Tangerine seedlings) and my Dracaena Sanderiana cluster.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 4:47PM
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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

Yes if it's Neem Oil. It's not so good for frying but gets rid of nearly all insect pests. Good luck. Ian

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 4:53PM
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mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)

Probably a dumb question, but I was thinking, if we poison the source, the population dies... FAST. I was wondering if there is a medication that we can inject or water our plants with that will poison the scale insects but leave the plant unharmed?

Just curious.

Perhaps if it doesn't exist, I can try and create one.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 4:58PM
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mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)

Probably a dumb question, but I was thinking, if we poison the source, the population dies... FAST. I was wondering if there is a medication that we can inject or water our plants with that will poison the scale insects but leave the plant unharmed?

Just curious.

Perhaps if it doesn't exist, I can try and create one.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 4:59PM
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mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)

Basically the toxin flows throughout the plant where the scale insects feed and they consume poisoned sap and thus the b******s die.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 5:06PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

he said it might. So, I gave it a shot ...

==>> i say why not... but consider your source.. SOME GUY.. eh??

then rhiz said: Ignore ken....please.

==>> and i ask.. why my VERY GOOD FRIEND WOULD SAY SUCH"?????

there is a very simple way to solve this.. which she wont like either ... and she can explain why ....

first i dont grow edibles in the house in winter... and all my house plants are outdoors for summer ....

in september.. in MI ... i treat ALL MY HOUSEPLANTS WITH A SYSTEMIC .... and come about 10/1 ... i bring them in the house ...

guess what.. i dont have bugs.. nor scale.. nor crawlie things in the soil .. etc ... clean plants that dont bug the heck out of me all winter....

the time outdoors in fall, after treatment .... lets all the bad gasses ... off gas... and i have clean plants all winter ...

consider such.. next late summer/early fall ....

but dont IGNORE ME ...

keep that paper clip handy ...

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: a stinkin paper clip ...

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 9:29PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

There is some research that indicates the systemic pesticides are toxic to a wide variety of other, and beneficial, insects that would not normally be exposed to a non systemic pesticide applied with due care.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 7:12AM
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mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)

I have a problem. I sprayed a soap and water solution on my mexican fan palm to kill any possible scale adults and forgot to wipe it off. Now I think it's suffocating as it's leaves are withering. Is there anything I can do to keep it from suffocating? Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 6:56PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

I have used Insecticidal Soaps, both homemade and commercial, with no problems to the plants and have never had a need to wash or wipe the soap off the leaves. Where I have seen the problems you describe people either mixed a much too strong soap solution or used a detergent instead of a soap.
What "soap" did you use and how much.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 7:04AM
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mulchmama

Of all the pests to try to control with pantry products, I would think scale should be the last. This is a tough one to control because the product is important, and the timing is even more important. Nothing will really penetrate the hard shells. You have to get them at the crawler stage, and that's a pretty narrow window. So if you don't scrape or wipe them off, you'll have to continually monitor them with a magnifier to look for movement.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 9:33AM
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mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)

I used dish soap and as for how much, that's my problem. I never measured but I have a feeling I've mixed too much. :-(

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 12:00PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Mcgyvr, respectfully, you need to stop using homemade mixtures on your plants until you understand a lot more about what you're doing. And PLEASE, do not use any commercial products unless you know the identity of the problem and are willing to read and follow directions.

Plants are quite commonly killed (or nearly so) by the misuse of home brewed soap mixtures.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Most all dish "soaps" sold today are detergents, synthetic products not made with the animal fats that make soaps effective insecticides. All detergents can be harmful to plants and the soaps can also be harmful if mixed too strongly.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 7:53AM
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calliope(6)

Yes, vegetable oil will kill scale. Any suffocant will. What is also important is how will it affect the plant? You don't want to kill it along with the scale. I use vegetable oil to kill scale mites on my chickens' legs and it's just as effective as any commercial product and more effective than many, because it's a suffocant and chickens won't be harmed with their legs covered in olive oil. LOL. Lice and mite powder doesn't work well for this because it can't get to where the mites hide.

You do not need to treat scale in the crawler stage unless you are using a contact poison since their scale covering stops the poison from being absorbed into the body and that's why soaps do not treat them well either and why oils can work when soaps can't. There are some commercial horticultural oils with a vegetable oil base btw. That doesn't mean your plant won't be harmed by a do it yourself vegetable oil treatment. Some plants do not tolerate oils. Period. That's why they have labels on pesticides to guide you which plants will or won't tolerate a product (among other things).

Don't even get me started on do-it-yourself soap sprays. Insecticidal soap is as cheap as dish soap. It's been tested on various plants for safety and efficacy too and if you follow the label, will be the proper dilution to make any phytotoxicity minimal. That and a summer weight oil should be in your arsenal if you garden and it may be all you will ever need.

I have made some tidy profits replacing plants people have killed with their homemade concoctions. All of these household products contain additional ingredients like perfumes, preservatives that horticultural products don't ordinarily contain.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 4:24PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I was taught by an old nursery man to just rub them off with your finger nails. It worked pretty well. It took several tries, but I finally got rid of a major scale infestation on a minature Schefflera this way.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 3:14PM
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