Pests and Diseases forum: Adding oil to home made insecticidal soap?

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Name: Bonnie
Chandler, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Bee Lover Butterflies Hummingbirder Xeriscape Birds
Seed Starter Winter Sowing
Image
droughttolerant
Feb 7, 2015 8:42 AM CST
Has anyone ever used home made insecticidal soap and put oil in it? I have crazy stupid white flies all over my Gaillardia. I've found that spraying them off just creates a mess for me with my Arizona soil that's part clay. I found a recipe for making insecticidal soap: 1 quart water mixed with 1 heavy tablespoon organic soap. It says I could add two tablespoons of light cooking oil to make it more 'sticky', such as corn, canola, olive or safflower oils. Does anyone know if the oil adds better results? My husband says, "No olive oil for bugs. That belongs in your Bolognese!" If *he* had stupid crazy white flies in his flowers, he'd be good with it if it worked! Smiling

Thanks!
Bonnie
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Feb 17, 2015 12:55 PM CST
It works by increasing the oil content of soap, which is basically a fatty acid salt. Olive oil is high in Oleic acid and has very good insecticidal properties. I must say though that the recipe you are using is a much heavier concentration than normally used. Most recommend a full TBS of soap and a full TBS of olive oil to 1 GALLON of water. I would be wary that that amount of soap and oil concentration might harm the plants along with the bugs.

http://www.seminolecountyfl.gov/extensionservices/articles_c...
Name: Bonnie
Chandler, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Bee Lover Butterflies Hummingbirder Xeriscape Birds
Seed Starter Winter Sowing
Image
droughttolerant
Feb 18, 2015 6:33 AM CST
Thank you so much for the correction. I appreciate that, but not as much as my plants will!
Name: Bonnie
Chandler, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Bee Lover Butterflies Hummingbirder Xeriscape Birds
Seed Starter Winter Sowing
Image
droughttolerant
Feb 18, 2015 8:00 AM CST
Hi MoonHowl,
I just read the article you referenced.I learned a lot more about the hows and whys, and am grateful that you posted a reply. Thank you a million times over!

Bonnie
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Moonhowl
Feb 18, 2015 11:42 AM CST
Hi Bonnie. You are most welcome. I have discovered that it is often of more value to post the link to good info rather than try to paraphrase the info. It may well have been a typo in the original recipe posted, so I wanted to make sure you had other info also.

Are you familiar with Horticultural Oils such as Neem? One of the cautions for them is to watch the temperature when you spray. High temps can fry a sprayed plant. Here is some info for you. (just so you understand the application and efficacy of oil on plants)

http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/neemgen.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3059459/

Again, glad to help.

Jean

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