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.
The culprits are a variety of stink bug.
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
- Find half a cake of old soap or two ends of old soap or two hotel complimentary soaps. Glycerine soap is not suitable.
- With a kitchen grater, grate the soap. (It is only soap and can easily be washed off)
- Using 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.
- 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.
- Add 50ml of vegetable oil.
- Shake bottle until it emulsifies.
- Spray on bugs. They don’t like it.
- Repeat the following day.
- After a three days wash the mixture off the tree.
- 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!