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Things to know before using any treatment:

Do a test on part of a plant before total treatment if unsure of compatibility.

Do your homework and make wise choices.  All insecticides should be used only when necessary and plant based compounds are safer for people, pets and the environment than chemical ones.

Insecticidal Oil

This may stay on leaves longer than soaps and be somewhat effective on larvae for a day or two after spraying.

Causes nervous system breakdown and death in insects, breaks down within 24 hours, nontoxic to fish.

Clove Oil Spray

Ingredients:

3 t clove oil (may use 2 t clove and 1 t rosemary oil instead – for a total of 3t of oils)

1 gallon water

1 T canola oil – has larger particles and may not go through sprayer as easily as a refined horticultural oil

Directions:Gently mix all ingredients together and use in a spray bottle.

If you do not have clove oil you can use 3 T ground cloves and steep in warm water overnight, strain through cheesecloth, and use in a spray bottle.  Shake often to keep the oil and water mixed.

Fun fact: Stick cloves into the skin of a whole lemon or an orange, covering it completely, and hang the fruit in closets or place in drawers to drive away insects.  My kids made these one summer day,left them to dry, and gave them to teachers as gifts.

Homemade Clove Oil Infusion

Grind 1 T very fresh whole cloves (purchased ground cloves do not have the oils you are looking for) using a mortar and pestle or coffee bean grinder.  Place freshly crushed cloves in the center of a piece of doubled cheesecloth and tie with a string, as you would a bouquet garni.  Place bundle in a glass jar, cover with about ½ c of a clear, mild flavored olive or grapeseed oil.  Tightly cover the jar with aluminum foil.  Place jar in the top of a double boiler and heat for 45 minutes, keeping an eye on the water below so that it does not boil away.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  Cover with cheesecloth, fasten cloth with a rubber band and place in a dark place.  The longer you let it sit the stronger it will become.  After one week (or more) you can strain through doubled cheesecloth or a coffee filter to get an oil you can put through a sprayer and use in the above recipe.  Your extract will not be as strong as a purchased essential oil so you will use 3 T in place of the 3 t for your homemade insecticidal spray.

Homemade Rosemary Oil Infusion

Fill a jar with briefly chopped, fresh rosemary leaves.  Cover leaves with a very mildly flavored olive or grapeseed oil.  Stir to remove any air pockets.  Cover tightly and let sit in a dark place for up to 6 weeks.  Gently rotate the jar once or twice a week.  Longer = stronger.  After one week you can strain through cheesecloth or a coffee filter to get an oil you can put through a sprayer and use in the above recipe.  Your extract will not be as strong as a purchased oil so you will use 1 T in place of the 1 t when adding to your homemade insecticidal spray above.

Thyme leaves oil infusion will help control insects.

Mint (peppermint, etc.) leaves oil infusion will help control aphids and other insects.

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