Spraying is one way to protect your plants from damaging insects or disease. Spraying today, however, is nothing like the spraying of yesteryear. Environmental concerns have led the way to significant changes and many safeguards are in place. In NY State one must be certified to apply any spray materials commercially. The Department of Environmental Conservation regulates the activity and requires careful record keeping and yearly reports. The materials we use are selected from a list recommended by Cornell University. Some of these materials will target the specific insect (harming no others). Most of these materials are “bio-degradable” (as opposed to “persistent”). And many of them are in the non-toxic minimum risk category.
Did you know that Hemlock Woolly Adelgid can be controlled by spraying a 2% solution of horticultural oil (non-toxic) in water or that Euonymous scale can be stopped by a solution of insecticidal soap and water?