October 11, 2015

Natural Control of Bronze Orange Stink Bugs on Citrus

So, the poor old lemon tree is looking much sadder than usual. At a closer look I find hundreds of bugs. Off to google and the bookshelf I go to work who out these unwelcome visitors are. They are Bronze Orange Bugs, they suck the sap out of the tree (like blood suckers). No wonder the tree is looking a bit lifeless.

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The culprits are a variety of stink bug.

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I do not use chemicals in my garden as I always think of who else may be effected. For example if we are using synthetic sprays on insects what if a beautiful native bird has a feed on those insects it can not be a good outcome for anyone. Let alone the fact we are eating food from what we spray. I think if the label says you need to wear protective equipment you are damaging the environment.

I have come up with a natural ecologically safe, cheap method of treating the bugs. To make up the natural soap spray follow the instructions and pictures below.

Stink Bug Soap Spray

  1. Find half a cake of old soap or two ends of old soap or two hotel complimentary soaps. Glycerine soap is not suitable.
  2. With a kitchen grater, grate the soap. (It is only soap and can easily be washed off)
  3. IMG_6659Using a funnel place the soap in a spray bottle, making sure nothing harmfull has previously been in the bottle. Add 1 litre of water and shake vigiously until all the soap is combined with the water. Leave the bottle overnight.
  4. The soap mixture should be gelatinous. If it is too solid take out half of the contents and replace with half a litre of warm water and shake. Set aside the extra soap to make another batch.
  5. IMG_6708Add 50ml of vegetable oil.
  6. IMG_6709Shake bottle until it emulsifies.
  7. Spray on bugs. They don’t like it.
  8. IMG_6717IMG_6716IMG_6715Repeat the following day.
  9. After a three days wash the mixture off the tree.
  10. Keep an eye on the tree as you may need to conduct a follow up spray in a few weeks.

You now have  a happier lemon tree.

Happy Natural Spraying!

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