Residential tree care covers more than just pruning. Regularly scheduled pruning is an important maintenance step, but trees in residential settings can also develop issues that need to be treated, such as fungal infections or insect infestations. Tree care professionals can often treat insect infestations with sprays and other similar treatments.
Here are some of the natural treatments your tree care professional may use in spray form if your tree is experiencing an insect problem.
1. Neem oil
Neem oil is considered an organic treatment for trees and plants. It has widespread applications, from antifungal use to insecticidal use. Some of the insects that neem oil may treat effectively include aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, and more. Your tree care expert can mix some neem oil at the correct dilution to apply to the affected tree with a sprayer.
Like any treatment, though, neem oil does have its downsides. These include the fact that it has a distinctive smell you may find unpleasant, and it can harm beneficial insects (such as bees and butterflies) if they get in the way while it's being sprayed. You can ask your tree care professional to schedule a treatment during times of day when bees are less active to avoid spraying any bees.
2. BT treatments
Treatments using BT (specifically, Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki) can act as a caterpillar killer that targets no insects other than caterpillars. This can help you avoid harming beneficial honeybees, but BT treatment can still harm beneficial moths and butterflies because the treatment kills all caterpillars indiscriminately.
Keep in mind that different strains of the BT bacterium can kill different pests. Your residential tree care professional can help you choose the correct product for the type of pest you're having trouble with.
3. Insecticidal soap
Insecticidal soap is another treatment that can control a wide variety of pests on your trees. This treatment kills insects by drying them out, so it works best on insects that are susceptible to this drying action. Insects that are small and have a thin exterior (such as aphids) can be highly susceptible to this treatment.
Insecticidal soap is considered a very natural and eco-friendly treatment, and it's one that even organic farms may use.
These are some of the natural treatments your tree care professional may use when looking for a way to control an ongoing insect infestation in your tree. Be sure to call a professional as soon as you notice your tree struggling with an infestation. If not treated, the infestation could spread to other trees. Contact a company that offers residential tree care services to learn more.