Have you noticed that the same bugs plague your trees and shrubs year after year? It may be because although they may seem to disappear in the winter, they never really leave. Many insects actually hide away on or near your plants in the winter so that they can continue feasting in the spring.
Bugs have a lot of tricks for surviving Charlotte, NC winters. If you want to know how to protect your trees in the winter so you can cut down on tree pests in the spring, read on!
How do bugs survive the winter?
Many insects get through the colder months of the year a lot like we do — by cozying up some place warm and sheltered from the elements. For us, that would be our homes. For bugs, it could be under loose bark, in leaf litter, or buried deep in the soil.
This process is known as overwintering.
Insects can overwinter at various stages of their development. Some overwinter as adults, while others overwinter as pupae, larvae, or even eggs.
Horticultural oil: The winter protection your trees need
If the cold doesn't get rid of your tree pests, what will? Enter: horticultural oil.
Horticultural oil is a great treatment for winter tree protection. It works by clogging the spiracles (breathing pores) of insects and mites, suffocating them. When applied to egg masses, horticultural oil can prevent oxygen uptake and decrease hatching success.
Some research has found horticultural oil can even keep insects from laying eggs.
Another amazing thing about horticultural oil is that, compared to many other synthetic insecticides, it's more environmentally friendly and less harmful to beneficial predators and other insects.
Horticultural oil needs to come in direct contact with insects to do its job, so, unfortunately, pests buried in the soil won't be affected. But this treatment will help your tree get ahead of the pest pressure curve by reducing the population of pests overwintering on your tree.
Horticultural oil can control many overwintering pests, including:
- Lace bugs
We can treat your trees and shrubs with horticultural oil in the late fall, early spring, and winter. In fact, our ArborWISE program includes winter and spring horticultural oil treatments.
Interested in other treatments and services you can get done during a tree's dormant season? Read more about how to protect your trees this winter in our Winter Tree & Pest Manual.
Like what you just read?
Then you'll love this: It's Time to Schedule Your Winter Inspection & Pruning