Citrus is easy to grow fruits that can grow without too much care both in-ground and containers. But Insects are the main problem of producing juicy and sweet citrus fruits.
Almost 250 species of insects and mites can damage your citrus trees and fruits. The most problematic citrus pests are-citrus psyllid, citrus leaf miner, citrus whitefly, citrus or lemon butterfly, moths, beetles, aphids, scales, bugs, and so on.
Some attack on the growing stage and some on the fruiting stage. They suck the cell sap from the young leaves, shoots, and fruits and develop some diseases like sooty mold and citrus canker disease.
So, if you want to win the battle against these insects, you must have a killer weapon named citrus insecticide.
The question; what is the best insecticide for citrus trees?
In a nutshell, the insecticide that contains some kids, pets, and environment-friendly insect and pest repellent as an active ingredient like azadirachtin, mineral oil, salt of fatty acids, pyrethrin, spinosad, etc.
For your convenience, I listed and reviewed the 7 best insecticides for citrus that can help you to protect your citrus trees from insects.
In A Rush? Here is the overall best insecticide for citrus trees that you may pick right now-
Best Insecticide for Citrus Trees-Comparisons
|Monterey LG6150 Insect Spray
|BioAdvanced Citrus Insect Control
|Natria 706240A Neem Oil Concentrate
|Natria 706230A Insecticidal Soap
|Salt of Fatty Acids
|Monterey LG 6299 Horticultural Oil
|Ortho Tree & Shrub Fruit Tree Spray
|Organic Laboratories Garden Spray
Best Insecticide for Citrus Trees-Reviews
1. Monterey LG6138 Garden Insect Spray Insecticide/Pesticide
It contains 0.5% spinosad as an active ingredient. Spinosad is a mixture of spinosyn A and spinosyn D.And it is a natural substance made by Saccharopolyspora spinosa bacteria that is used to control and kill most destructive garden pests.
It acts as a contact insecticide. It damages the nervous system and kills the insects if they come in contact with the spinosad solution.
This fast-acting insecticide can be applied to all types of citrus such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, and tangerines and it can control and kill most of the citrus insects including Katydids, Leafminers, Thrips, and psyllid.
To apply this insecticide on citrus trees-
Mix 2 oz or 4 tbsp. the concentrated solution into a gallon of water, shake well, and spray until foliage and soil wet completely.
Aren’t you comfortable with the concentrated solution? Good news; It also comes in Ready to Spray (RTS)and Ready to Use (RTU) formula.
RTS solution comes in a container with a hose-end sprayer. Just connect a garden hose and spray on your citrus plants. On the other hand, the RTU solution comes with a trigger sprayer. Just shake and spray on the leaves of the citrus.
Another good news; the RTU solution also has potassium salt of fatty acids as well as spinosad. You will be happy to know, Potassium salt fatty acid is also a powerful pest repellent that is the main ingredient of insecticidal soap.
It can be sprayed before the day of harvest with confidence. Reapply after 6 days, if necessary.
2.BioAdvanced 701520A Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Insect Control
BioAdvanced 701520A is the best systemic insecticide for citrus trees. The systemic insecticide is a chemical that is absorbed by plants and distributed throughout the cells. When insects suck the plant sap, the chemical enters the insect’s body and kills them.
Now the question; is it safe for edible fruits?
Yes, it is safe. Systemic chemicals don’t go into flowers and fruits. Moreover, it is safe for the environment and plants too. It can’t be washed if the plant absorbs once. So, the only systemic insecticide that can protect your citrus plant for a longer period of time.
As a systemic insecticide, it contains 0.235% Imidacloprid. Imidacloprid is made from mimic nicotine and it can protect your citrus plant from most problematic insects including Aphids, Citrus psyllid, Blackfly, Citrus leafminer, Leafhoppers, Sharpshooters, Mealybugs, Scales, and Whiteflies.
As I told you, systemic insecticide protects the plant for a long time. There is no exception to this insecticide. Only one application is enough to protect the citrus plant from insects for a year.
Besides lemon, orange, and other citrus plants, it can also be applied to tomato, pepper, apple, cherry, and some other vegetables and fruits. You know; the systemic insecticide remains in the leaves and stems of the plants. So, ignore this insecticide for leafy vegetables.
To apply this systemic insecticide on citrus plant-
Mix 1.5 ounces concentrated solution into a gallon of water for 3 radius feet plant, pour it around the base of the plant and protect your plant from citrus insects.No need to spray on the foliage.
3.Natria 706240A Organic Plant Protection From Pests and Diseases Neem Oil Concentrate
Do you need an all in one solution for your citrus plant? Here is the Natria Neem Oil for protecting your citrus plant against insects. It has a triple-action formula that acts as an insecticide, fungicide, and miticides.
Natria 706240A insecticide contains 70% neem as an active ingredient. Neem oil contains Azadirachtin. It is an organic and natural compound that acts as the growth regulator, antifeedant, repellent, sterilant, and ovipositor inhibitor of insects and kills almost 200 garden insects and pests including all citrus insects in contact.
Also, it prevents and controls fungus diseases such as black spot, brown spot, powdery mildew, and rust.
This neem oil solution doesn’t contain any chemical substance that is certified by OMRI.So, you can apply it to your vegetables, fruits, and citrus plants without the risk of burn and damage.
To spray this neem oil insecticide to your citrus plant-
Mix 2-4 tbsp. the concentrated solution per gallon of water and spray as an insecticide until the leaves are wet completely. It can be used up to the day of harvest.
It is also available in Ready to Spray(RTU) that comes in a container with a hand trigger. Just shake and spray on the citrus.
4.Natria 706230A Insecticidal Soap Organic Miticide(RTU)
Do you need a completely safe and pets friendly insecticide for your citrus plant? Then Insecticidal soap may be the wise pick for you and Natria insecticidal soap is the best insecticidal soap for citrus trees. Also, it is an OMRI-listed product for organic gardeners.
It contains 1% potassium salt of fatty acids as an active ingredient. The potassium salt of fatty acid is a natural and organic compound that is extracted from plant fat. It is completely safe for humans and pets but highly toxic to insects.
Insecticidal soap is a contact insecticide. It can kill most of the citrus insects including aphids, whiteflies, leafminers, caterpillars when they come in contact with the insecticidal soap solution.
The best parts of the Natria insecticidal soap are-
It dries quickly and minimizes the chance of wash off. Also, it acts as a preventive bio fungicide that can protect the citrus plant from some fungal diseases.
It comes in Ready To Use form with a hand trigger. So you don’t need to dilute the solution. Just shake and spray on the upper and lower surface of leaves up to the day of harvest.
5.Monterey LG 6299 Horticultural Oil Concentrate Insecticide/Pesticide
Monterey Insecticide strikes again with LG 6299 Horticultural Oil Concentrate Insecticide. It is an OMRI-listed safe and organic insecticide for organic gardeners. Let’s analyze this pets friendly organic horticultural oil-
It contains 80% mineral oil as an active ingredient and the mineral oil is extracted from petroleum organically. So, undoubtedly it is safe for humans and citrus plants also. But it is highly toxic to the insects and kills most of the soft-bodied insects such as aphids, leaf miners, leafhoppers, thrips, spider mites, scales, whiteflies, mealybugs, etc.
The best parts of this horticultural oil-
It can control the eggs of the insects. So, it can be the best dormant spray for citrus insects.
Also, it is a contact insecticide. It can suffocate the insects and kill them in a minute when they come in contact with this insecticide. It comes in a concentrated solution that can safely apply on citrus trees as well as flowers, vegetables, and houseplants.
Mix 1-2 ounces per gallon of water, pour the solution into a sprayer, and spray on the leaves until the plant wets. It can be sprayed up to the day of harvest.
6.Ortho Tree & Shrub Fruit Tree Spray
As the active ingredient, it contains 0.25% Pyrethrins, 2.50% Piperonyl Butoxide, and 70.00% Neem Oil. Let’s discuss those ingredients one by one-
Pyrethrin is a natural insect repellent compound that is derived from Chrysanthemum flower. It is highly toxic to the insects and kills most of the garden insect including aphids, spider mites, scale, mealybugs, whiteflies, beetles, loopers, leafminers, leafrollers, armyworms, webworms, tent caterpillars, fungus gnats, leafhoppers, stink bugs, thrips, lace bugs, boxelder bugs, grasshoppers, ants, mosquitos and so on.
Piperonyl Butoxide has no pesticidal activity. It just enhances the power of pyrethrin and you know about the neem oil, it contains Azadirachtin and it acts as pesticide and fungicide.
As a fungicide, it can control and prevent most of the fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, black spot, brown spot, dollar spot, snow mold, downy mildew, anthracnose, rust, leaf spot, botrytis, needle rust, scab, and blight
It is also a contact insecticide and comes in concentrated form. To apply it on citrus plants as an insecticide-
Mix 2 tablespoons per gallon of water and spray on the foliage until the upper and lower surfaces of leaves wet completely. For better result, apply it 7-14 days interval.
7.Organic Laboratories 100-021 Garden Spray
You know; honey bees are beneficial insects for us. It helps your citrus plant to pollinate. So, if you only eliminate the destructive insects without killing honey bees, you need a bee-friendly insecticide and this Organic Laboratories Organocide is the best bee-friendly insecticide for citrus.
It contains 5% sesame oil. Sesame oil is extracted from the sesame seed. It has pesticidal properties that suffocate the insects and kill them in a minute.
Also, it contains vegetable oil and lecithin. Lecithin has a fungicidal activity that helps your citrus plant to prevent fungal diseases such as spots, mildew, and rust.
This organocide is an OMRI-listed product and comes in concentrated form. To apply on the citrus plant-
Mix 1 ounce per gallon of water and spray on the upper and lower surface of leaves. It is completely safe for humans and pets and can be sprayed on the same day of harvest.
How to Choose the Best Insecticide for Citrus Trees?
To choose the perfect insecticide for citrus trees, you must consider some points. For your convenience, here is the buying guide for you.
First, you have to check what is the active ingredient of the insecticide. The only active ingredient can tell you that the insecticide safe or not. Generally, citrus insecticide contains azadirachtin, mineral oil, salt of fatty acids, pyrethrin, spinosad, Imidacloprid, Malathion, Sevin, etc.
Organic Vs. Non-Organic
Both organic and non-organic insecticide can be sprayed on the citrus plant. Just you have to confirm that the non-organic compound is safe for your plants and health.
Organic citrus insecticide contains azadirachtin, mineral oil, salt of fatty acids, pyrethrin, spinosad, and inorganic insecticide contains imidacloprid, malathion, Sevin. All are safe for plants and health.
Lastly, you can consider a few secondary features like concentrated or Ready to Use form, easy drying, odorless, and so on.
Home Remedies for Citrus Tree Insects
Only a test can tell you if the ratio of your homemade insecticide is safe for your citrus or not. Also, all the homemade recipes do not work on all types of insects. If the insects are minimum and have enough time in hand, you may prepare a home remedy for your citrus.
Recipe1: Insecticidal Soap Spray for Citrus Trees
- Dish Soap or Castile Liquid Soap(Our Pick: Bronner’s – Pure-Castile Liquid Soap)
- Vegetable oil or Neem oil (Our pick: Mary Tylor Naturals Organic Neem Oil)
- Hand Sprayer (our pick: Chapin 20541)
- Mix 4-5 tablespoons of castile soap or dish soap into a gallon of water.
- Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable or neem oil and let them work for a few minutes
- Shake the solution properly and spray on the upper and lower surface of leaves.
Want more insecticidal soap recipes? Check it out- Homemade Insecticidal Soap Spray.
Recipe 2: Garlic Spray for Citrus Trees
- 15-20 Garlic cloves
- Liquid Dish soap
- Vegetable oil
- Chop the cloves into pieces and place them in a pot with 1 or 2 liters of water and boil for 10-20 minutes.
- Wait and let the solution cool.
- Filter the solution and mix 2-3 drops of liquid dish soap and vegetable oil.
- Pour the solution into a sprayer, shake and spray on the foliage of citrus plants.
You can store it in the refrigerator for a week. To more garlic recipes- Homemade garlic spray Insecticide.
Recipe 3: Cinnamon Oil Spray for Citrus
- Cinnamon Oil(our pick: OliveNation Cinnamon Oil)
- Vegetable oil
- Mix 1-2 tablespoons of Cinnamon Oil into a gallon of water.
- Add a few drops of vegetable oil
- Shake the solution and spray on the citrus trees
Recipe 4: Homemade Insecticide for Citrus Worms
- Diatomaceous earth (our pick: Safer 51703 Diatomaceous Earth)
- Sprinkle the diatomaceous earth on the soil around the trunk of citrus trees or the entranceways of worms.
Note: If the leafminers damage your citrus plant only, you can use a Citrus Leafminer Trap(Our pick: Monterey LG8920 Citrus Leafminer Trap and Lure)
How to Apply Insecticide on a Citrus Tree?
Spraying insecticide on citrus trees is a simple task. But for a better result, you can follow some simple steps-
Choose the Right Time
Spray insecticide when the weather remains calm. Early morning and evening can be the best time to spray insecticide on citrus plants. Never apply insecticide on citrus plants in sunny and hot weather. Also, don’t apply insecticide on the outdoor citrus plants, if any chance to rain recently.
Dilute the Concentrated Solution
Read the label of the citrus insecticide. Measure the solution and prepare a dilute solution. If you pick Ready to Use solution, then you don’t need to prepare a solution additionally.
Test on The Few Leaves
Heavy concentration can burn the citrus plant. So, you need to test. To test-Spray water on the plant, then spray premixed insecticide solution on some leaves and wait overnight. If you don’t notice any burn sign, then spray water and then insecticide solution on the whole plant.
If you notice any burn sign, spray water and wash the plant. Mix more water to the previous solution and again go for the test.
Spray on The Insecticide
You know most of the citrus insecticide is a contact insecticide. That means the insecticide can work only if the insects come in contact with the solution. Insects mostly hang on the lower surface of leaves. So, apply on both the upper and lower surface of leaves.
Spray water before applied insecticide. It can minimize the stress and chance of damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Sevin be used on citrus trees?
Sevin can work on citrus insects but it is not an organic insecticide and it is also toxic for mammals. So, you can use the sevin on citrus tree 1-2 weeks before harvesting. If you have other options, then avoid spraying sevin on citrus plants.
Can you use neem oil on citrus trees?
Yes, you can use neem oil on citrus trees. Neem oil contains Azadirachtin and Azadirachtin is the natural and organic compound to kill citrus insects successfully. The good news; it is completely safe for mammals. So, you can use it on the day of harvest.
Can malathion be used on citrus trees?
Like the sevin, malathion also kills the citrus insects. But it is an inorganic insecticide. So, you should spray this a week before harvesting.
Lastly, I would like to say don’t let the insects destroy your citrus plants and fruits. Some insects are not visible easily. So, apply the insecticide to prevent the insects. Don’t wait for a massive attack.
Pick the best insecticide for citrus trees from my list and spray on the citrus plants up to the day of harvest.