Various bugs use lime trees as a food source, shelter and host for their larvae. Chemical pesticides are readily available to control these bugs but generally contain toxins that can harm you and your family. If you are like me and would rather not fill your environment with potential dangerous chemicals, consider choosing nontoxic bug sprays to control the unwanted insects that feed on your lime trees.
Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacterium living in soil that acts as a poison to specific pests. Citrus leafminers, cutworms, leafrollers, caterpillars and the larval stage of various other butterflies and moths that attack lime trees are a few of the pests controlled by Bacillus thuringiensis. After spraying the lime tree with the bacterium insecticide, the unwanted insects consumes the bacterium, which interferes with its feeding and the pests starves to death. This non toxic insecticide won’t harm beneficial insects — such as bees –, birds, aquatic wildlife, humans or mammals.
Homemade Oil Spray
Consisting of non toxic ingredients, the homemade oil spray is an inexpensive and safer option to controlling soft-bodied insects that suck the sap from the lemon tree leaves. Aphids, mites, scales, whiteflies and thrips are sap-sucking insects infesting lime trees and can be controlled with the homemade oil spray. The homemade bug spray contains 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap that doesn’t contain degreaser or bleach, six tablespoons of canola oil and two gallons of lukewarm water mixed together thoroughly. The unwanted pests must come in contact with the oil spray for effective control so thoroughly apply to the entire lime tree. Furthermore, never spray the homemade insecticide when temperatures will exceed 85 degrees.
Insecticidal soap contains fatty acids and losses its ability to control insects once dry. It breaks down quickly, doesn’t leave behind harsh residues and can be applied up to the day of harvest. Insecticidal soap controls soft-body insects such as aphids, scales, whiteflies and mites, and may require repeated applications for effective control. Insecticidal soap must cover the pest in order to control them so thoroughly apply the pesticide to the entire lime tree on a warm day when temperatures won’t reach 90 degrees.
Garlic sprays is safe to use around people, pets and wildlife but will control mites, aphids, whiteflies, grasshoppers, slugs and cabbage loppers. It will also keep rabbits at bay and help prevent fungal diseases.To make the homemade garlic spray you must first soak three ounces of minced garlic in one ounce of mineral oil for 24 hours or more. After the allotted time, pour the liquid through a strainer and into a clean glass jar. The second step of the recipe consists of one teaspoon of fish emulsion mixed with one tablespoon of castile soap and 16 ounces of water. Combine the first mixture with the second to create a concentrated liquid that will store for several months. To use the garlic spray, combine two tablespoons of the concentrated mixture with one pint of lukewarm water and thoroughly coat the lime tree.
The above organic and non toxic insecticides can be used on just about any type of plant except for those with hairy or waxy leaves. If you are unsure about using these products in your garden, consider testing it on an inconspicuous area of the plant’s leaf. If after 24 hours no damage has occurred, you can continue as instructed.