Dormant Oil Spray Dormant oil is a nontoxic spray to control sucking and chewing insects in the egg stage before they can do any damage. Use dormant oil on trees, shrubs and evergreens in early spring while they are still dormant, before buds develop. You can buy the spray from any garden supply store or make your own from mineral oil and soap using the following recipe:
  • 1 gallon mineral oil
  • 1 pound oil-based soap
  • 1/2 gallon water
Combine all ingredients, boil, and mix very well. Dilute 1:20 with water and use immediately because the ingredients separate quickly.

Spray on a day when the temperature is above 40 degrees and you are not expecting a freeze for at least 24 hours. Drench the branches of your shrubs and trees thoroughly - it's impossible to overdo it.

For citrus trees, you should buy a special dormant oil from your garden supply store. Citrus leaves can be damaged by the film that remains on the leaves.


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