Applying Dormant Oil

Late in the summer, scale bugs, mites and aphids lay their eggs on a variety of fruit trees, camellias, hollies, citrus, palms and other ornamental shrubs.  The continual drain of sap from these sucking insects can ultimately kill these plants.  

LUCKILY, you can add a layer of protection by applying dormant oil NOW! One application of dormant oil will help control insect populations – it coats the insects’ spiracles (or the pores on its body that the bug breathes through) effectively smothering the future larvae. The BEST part? Dormant oil is less toxic to beneficial insects, like ladybugs, birds and other mammals.

When to Apply Dormant Oil: To determine when to use dormant oil, take the weather in East Texas into consideration. The date may change every year, but the conditions must be the same. Spray early enough so that the buds on the trees haven’t started to pop out — wait until the daily temperature is at least 40 degrees F. and will stay that way for at least 24 hours. Then, choose a 24-hour period when no rain or high winds are predicted.

How to Apply Dormant Oil:

– Cover any annual flowers you may have near the tree when using dormant oil.  

Fill your sprayer with the oil solution and slowly cover the tree, beginning with the topmost branches.

Move all around the tree to get the spray into all the crevices.

After a few weeks, evidence of a scale infestation will still be visible after the spraying.  The “sooty mold” dark color on the leaves and bark has to wear off over time.  The dead bodies of the scale will stick in place and will also disappear over time.

Check to see if spraying has killed most of the scale present.  With a thumbnail pry off a scale and press it.  If the shell is dried, then the scale is dead and the treatment worked. YAY!  If the scale is squishy and is filled with yellow, orange or white liquid then the scales are still living and need to be sprayed again.

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How to Find and Treat Spider Mites

Sometimes big problems come in teeny tiny sizes.

Spider mites are tiny web-spinning bugs that eat sap from the bottom of leaves.  They are super hard to see, because they’re only about the size of a grain of pepper! As tiny as they are, it’s amazing the HUGE amount of damage they can cause. If leaves of your plants look yellowed and have tiny webbing between them, you might have spider mites.

Since spider mites are so itty-bitty, you really have to make sure that they’re the main culprits for your plant problems.  Here’s the best way to find out if these tiny terrors are holding your plant hostage:

  • Hold a sheet of white paper under an unhealthy branch
  • Hit the branch and see what comes out
  • If tiny red, yellow, green, brown, red, or black specs fall on your paper and begin to crawl around, you have spider mites
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Spider Mites like dry, dusty conditions. Spraying your plants’ leaves or needles with water or hosing down garden walkways and other dry, dusty spots will make these small monsters unhappy! Thus, making them relocate. You’ll also want to clean up any extra debris around trees and plants, all the extra material makes spider mites feel right at home. If you pick it up, you’ll remove some of the conditions they favor.

Treatment of spider mites will usually require 2 treatments, 10 days apart using 2 different products.  Spray Acephate and Orthene on your plants and you should end your spider mite problem.  Rotation of products is important in the success of treating spider mite infestations.

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Get Rid of Fire Ants (for good!)

Want to learn how to kill fire ants including the almighty Queen in 5 minutes without measuring or mixing anything?   Just attach a bottle of Amdro Quick Kill to your water hose and aim away.  It is just that simple.AMDRO-Quick-Kill-Outdoor-Insect-Killer-RTS-32oz.png

The exact name of the product is Amdro Quick Kill Outdoor Insect Killer – it may be a mouthful of a name but it works!  It is fast (kills ‘em dead in 5 minutes) and is so easy-to-use.

Attach your hose and with no measuring or mixing you are ready to go – gently soak the mound for 30 seconds.  It is a fast acting formula that destroys an entire fire ant amdro-lawn-insect-pest-control-100522991-1f_1000mound, including the queen, in under five minutes.  You can treat 40 fire ant mounds with 1 quart sized bottle and is safe to use in your lawn, around your shrubs, flowers and trees.  Children and pets can safely re-enter the sprayed area after it dries.

It also comes in a concentrated form which we keep mixed up in a 2 gallon sprayer at all times in the nursery.  When we find a plant filled with ants we spray it and they are dead – it has changed the way we treat ants throughout the nursery.

Fire Ant Facts:

  • Up to 250,000 ants can live in 1 mound
  • Total time from egg to adult averages 30 days
  • Worker ants may live up to 180 days
  • Fire ant queens live from 2 – 6 years
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How to Rid yourself of Snails!

We all know the joy of plants can come at a price, whether it be a plant disease, fungus, or pest. We love growing and caring for our vegetables, shrubs and indoor houseplants, but one snail can ruin a plant in a very short span of time. If you’re not sure if you have a snail problem, or how to fix it, you’re in the right place.snAil

With snails, most of the damage happens at night, when they emerge to feed. They prefer clipping tender, young shoots, but may chew irregular holes through leaves and flowers or feed on soft fruits and the bark of young plants. As they move around, snails leave a slimy trail that dries to a silvery film by morning.

Control of snails is a major problem in all habitats. There are many things that can be done to reduce the potential of a problem occurring. Eliminate (as much as you can), items that are sitting on the ground (as they are possible resting places for these slimy pests) such as boards, boxes, stones, debris, weeds, plants in pots that have runners on the ground or any other items that provide shelter. Reducing hiding places decreases snail survival.121.png

A few options are available to kill the snails. You can treat for snails organically with Diatomaceous Earth or you can also rid yourself of snails chemically. Using a dust or solution that contains spinosad + iron phosphate can lure snails from their hiding spots. Bonide Slug & Bug bugandslugKiller contains both of these chemicals AND prevents those disgusting slime trails! Just spread the pellets around your garden, landscape, or in your indoor plants and start to enjoy your greenery again!

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Caring for a Crape Myrtle with Scale

When it comes to Crape Myrtle care, experts say the best place to start is the bark.

There’s a new bug that’s making it’s way around our region attacking Crape Myrtles. It’s called Crape Myrtle Scale and it attacks by secreting an enzyme (yes that means poop!) all over the crape myrtle, which then molds over turning your crape myrtle black. Yuck!

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Crape Myrtle with Bark Scale

If you notice this is happening to your tree, don’t worry. All you need is a Systemic Insect Drench.

The next steps are easy:

  1. Measure the amount of drench recommended
  2. Mix it into the appropriate amount of water
  3. Pour at the base of the tree.

That’s it! It will absorb into the tree and kill the bugs from the inside out.

Have more questions? Give us a call at 903-753-2223 or shoot us a text at 903-339-0922 and we’ll be happy to help!

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Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth is the ONLY product that is  fast working,  easy to use, ORGANIC and you can eat the produce the same day you apply it!121

Diatomaceous earth works to get rid of insects such as:

  • Aphids
  • Thrips
  • Ants
  • Mites
  • Earwigs
  • Bedbugs
  • Adult Flea
  • Beetles
  • Cockroaches
  • Snails
  • Slugs

……..just to name a few! ​

To these insects, diatomaceous earth is a lethal dust with microscopic sharp edges that cut through their protective covering and dries them out. One of the benefits of diatomaceous earth for insect control is that the insects have no way to build up a resistance to it, which can’t be said for many chemical control insecticides. Diatomaceous earth will not harm the worms or any of the beneficial microorganisms in the soil.

We keep it in stock year round!

What is diatomaceous earth?

Diatomaceous earth is made from fossilized water plants and is a natural occurring siliceous sedimentary mineral compound from the remains of algae-like plants called diatoms. The plants have been part of Earth’s ecology system dating back to prehistoric times. The chalky deposits the diatoms left are called diatomite. The diatoms are mined and ground up to make a powder that has a look and feel much like talcum powder.

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