Neem oil for crepe myrtle aphids is a product that has been a tradition in the gardening community because of the great effectiveness of the oil and its non-toxic properties.
The crepe myrtle aphid is one of many disastrous aphids that are very small in shape but have a very big and rather bad impact on its target plants. This is why it is of utmost importance and emergency that these aphids are gotten rid of with neem oil and that is exactly what we bring you in this article.
How To Use Neem Oil for Crepe Myrtle Aphids?
You can use neem oil spray for crepe myrtle aphids by preparing the mix, inspecting the plant well, and then spraying it on the foliage, on the dormant insects, and lastly, by drenching the soil in the oil. In addition, you must also try to examine the growth again.
1. Prepare the Mix
For making the solution, in a container, mix one gallon of water and two to three tablespoons of neem oil and dish soap, each. Mix the oil, soap, and water concoction and pour it into a spray bottle with a normal-sized nozzle for use, so that it would work in an efficient way as you dilute it, because the pure mix would burn the plant, in the long run.
This mixture can be kept for a long time on the shelf so you can make it beforehand and use it accordingly. Just make sure to wear protective gear when handling all the materials related to gardening and insects other than that you are all set.
You must also know that what you are using is safe, as this oil is a natural pesticide that is extracted from the neem tree and has been used for a long time against all sorts of insects, wasps, and parasites in the gardening community. The neem oil itself is of a thick consistency which is why it is best that you make a solution out of it using water and dish soap, and if you have more than aphids, it will free them.
2. Inspect the Plant Well
You can identify the crepe myrtle aphids by looking at their body. They have small black specks all over their body and have a pale white color underneath, so try to identify them, to check where you will spray. They are very small inside and often come in huge crowds.
They can easily be looked at with a magnifying glass. Large infestations of the crepe myrtle aphids can also be identified by the yellowing of the leaf, mold on the plant, and overall bad health of the plant and its fruits. You can also look for powdery mildew or Japanese beetles on the plants because these indicate the presence of the crepe myrtle aphid, and aim to spray them with the same neem solution.
3. Pick the Right Time
The best time to use the neem oil solution spray is in the morning, right after the sun shines bright. The sun plays a vital role in the working of the neem oil and in the successful elimination of the aphids as it will burn them.
This is because the heat from the sun dries up the soil so that the oil can positively stick to it, and secondly, the sun prompts the insects to come out of their hiding in search of food and water.
Also, keep in midn that in cold weather, most bugs and insects stay inside for obvious reasons. Therefore, whenever you want to spray the neem oil solution on aphids, ensure that the sun is out and there is no rain prediction anytime soon.
4. Spray on the Foliage
The first thing you should do is to use the spray by spraying the neem oil solution directly on the foliage, which may or may not be affected by the crepe myrtle aphids. If you spray on the plants in their growing season, you may prevent a lot of infections and diseases at once. In case you see that the foliage is burnt, you may dilute the mix further.
All you need to do is spray on the plant from top to bottom, making sure that each corner of the plant is covered. The slippery nature of the neem oil and its bitter taste will keep the insects from coming any close to the plants and the fruit. If the plant has already caught the aphid and the aphids are roaring about like crazy on the plant, you can still spray the neem oil.
Make sure to be very generous while spraying the neem oil and cover all the corners. Remember the spots under the leaves and around the roots. These tiny crepe myrtle aphids will eventually die and decompose in the soil, so note that you may need to repeat the spray application if you see any more aphids still. The most appropriate time would be every week and in the sunlight.
5. Spray on the Dormant Plants
You can also try to use the neem oil spray is by spraying them on the dormant plants. The plants become dormant in extreme weather and do not grow or produce fruit in such weather.
These weathers may be extreme summer having temperatures reaching 40 degrees Fahrenheit or even more. At this moment, the insects may be tempted to look for shade and food to sustain themselves.
Look for a dehydrated day and spray the entire plant with the neem oil solution. The solution will cling to the dry plant and its parts but will not seep in as the oil molecules are larger than most plants can absorb. The plants will then be safe from the attack of mindless aphids and other dangerous insects.
Make sure that you spray the plants when it’s scorching and not when there is freezing weather because in those cases, the aphids or even the other insects do not come near plants. It may take some days to a few weeks for the neem oil solution to kill all the aphids because the oil does not kill them on simple contact. The aphids need time to ingest the oil and which needs to start working inside them in order to destroy them.
6. Drench the Soil in Oil
Another interesting way of using neem oil is by drenching the soil in the oil. Till now, we were spraying the plants, infected and non-infected with the neem oil spray but in this case, you can apply the oil directly to the soil. This will definitely keep the plants safer for a long time because the insects will not even come close to them; they will be dead beforehand.
By drenching the soil with the neem oil solution, you can reach those parts of the garden where a normal aerial spray to the plants will not reach. The drenched soil will help scoop out all those insects that have been finding shelter in the areas under the soil.
So ideally, after spraying the plants, growing or dormant, with a generous spray of neem oil, you should definitely resort to drenching the soil generously with neem oil spray. You would be targeting the aphid eggs if they have infested heavily.
This procedure should absolutely help you get rid of all the aphids in your garden, but in case this does not happen, try to find the root cause of the aphids and also where they are originating from.
You should dig a little deeper in the soil and find the source of the aphids in your garden, but after that, you must also try spraying the source with the neem oil spray and wait for a little while to see the results. Repeat the process at the same location after one week to completely get rid of the aphids.
7. Examine the Growth Again
Ideally, repeat the application of the neem oil spray on the aphids every week so that if any of them were missed, you could get them positively now. The second most important thing to remember is that the spray will only be effective on dry days. If there is water in the soil or the plants, or it is about to rain, the spray and its working will become redundant.
Moreover, try also to use rosemary oil afterward, if the infestation isn’t fully recovered, but not together with neem. This oil works in the same way as the neem oil does because it is also a natural oil, if you find further eggs in your plant, the only difference is that rosemary oil has a more flowery fragrance than neem oil.
You can make the spray of rosemary oil the same way you would for the neem oil. You will need a gallon of water and two to three tablespoons of rosemary oil and dishwashing liquid if you still find them thriving. Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle, and you are ready to spray. Spray the plants from top to bottom, covering all the corners of the plant.
In this article, we talked about how you can use neem oil to get rid of crepe myrtle aphids in three different ways but in case something was unclear, here is a short review for you:
- Neem oil solution spray can be used to spray the infested plants directly, the dormant plants before the disease is developed, or used to drench the soil in it.
- The neem oil spray can be made by taking a gallon of water and mixing two to three tablespoons each of good quality neem oil and dish soap.
- The crepe myrtle aphids have small black specks all over their bodies which are pale white.
- The best time to use the spray is in sunlight, the best weather is dry or hot, and the best repeat time for the neem oil spray is every week.
- Spray the oil from top to bottom of the plant and make sure that the plant is covered completely.
Here we come to the end of the article about using neem oil for crepe myrtle aphids and related insects. Neem oil is a well-known oil that not only has uses in gardening but in almost all parts of daily life thus there are many different ways the oil is sold to the public.
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