New Products: PestOil and Glykill
There are some new products available at your local nursery which will help keep your garden pest and weed free:
PestOil is petroleum-based spray. Although similar to products such as white oil and winter oil that have been around for years, it has some important refinements which make it safer and more effective for pest and disease control. It is used for getting rid of small insects in the garden such as aphids, scales, mites, mealy bug, white fly and leaf miners on citrus plants. It can also be used against diseases such as powdery mildew, black spot and botrytis.
As it is a similar grade oil to that of baby oil it is not terribly poisonous or dangerous but could upset the stomach if ingested.
Among the refinements in this product is the inclusion of a sun screen which has UV protection. This stops the oil from forming an acid which in turn would burn foliage. It is safe to use PestOil on new foliage and on sunny days. It can be used throughout the year.
PestOil is also a heavier, more viscous oil than most white oils, which makes it better at smothering or drowning insects. It can be used in very low concentrations but at high volume. This means, if mixing up your own solution from the concentrate, use a small amount of oil to a lot of water – around 0.5% or 5mL per litre – but apply the diluted product liberally to plants.
This is done to put a fine but continuous layer of oil over the foliage. The presence of this layer interferes with the feeding and egg laying behaviour of many pest insects. The citrus leafminer for example is deterred from laying eggs on foliage where PestOil has been applied so preventing the larval stage from feeding within the leaf tissue. However, as it is attracted to new growth, PestOil must be applied to flushes of new growth as they appear to keep the plant protected.
Using PestOil: If PestOil is to be used effectively to control pests and disease instead of other chemicals, regular use and repeat spraying is vital, particulary in the case of aphids and citrus leafminer. For timing and application rates follow directions on the container.
Glykill is a glyphosate herbicide (that is it contains glyphosate which is the same chemical or active ingredient found in well-known weedkillers such as Zero and Roundup). What sets it apart from these other products is that a brightly coloured pink dye has been added to Glykill so that it is easy to see where the product has been sprayed. This avoids over use, re-entering sprayed areas, spraying the wrong plants or missing areas. It is effective in killing weeds in the garden and comes in a handy trigger pack. The dye fades away after exposure to sun and rain.
Availability and cost
These new products are being distributed by Hortex Australia and are widely available at garden centres and some chain-stores:
PestOil is sold in a ready-to-use trigger pack for around $9.95 or in a concentrate 500mL container for around $13.95 (most economical way to purchase the product).
Hint: Buy the trigger pack, use it up and then refill by mixing your own and using the trigger pack to apply it.
Glykill is sold in a trigger spray pack for around $8.95.