Mineral oil can be used as a pesticide. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Effects of seasonal mineral oil applications on the pest and natural enemy complexes of apple.
J Econ Entomol. 2005 Oct;98(5):1630-40. PMID: 16334333
Tree Fruit Research&Extension Center, Washington State University 1100 N. Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801, USA.
This 3-yr study examined the use of two different apple, Malus domestica Borkhausen, pest management programs based on horticultural mineral oil. Whereas oil provided some additional control of codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.), when targeting eggs of both generations (Oil/Direct Pest program, typically six applications per season), the additional benefit was difficult to detect when densities were high. With moderate densities, oil reduced the number of fruit infestations, but not stings (unsuccessful entries). There also were some measurable benefits to leafroller, Pandemis pyrusana Kearfott control. Oil was most useful, however, in suppression of secondary pests. White apple leafhopper, Typhlocyba pomaria McAtee, was the primary target of oil applications in the Oil/Indirect Pest program (typically three applications per season). However, leafhopper suppression in the Oil/Direct Pest program was generally greater because of the higher number of applications. Phytophagous tetranychid and eriophyid mites also were suppressed by more oil applications. Predatory mite populations were lower in both oil programs than in the check, but it is difficult to determine whether direct toxicity or reduction of prey was responsible for lower predator populations. There also was some evidence that oil suppressed woolly apple aphid, Eriosoma lanigerum Hausman. The six-spray oil program largely prevented a woolly apple aphid outbreak that occurred in July and August 1998 in the check, although the three-spray program seemed to provide some suppression despite the nonspecific spray timing.