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Re: CULT: Murphey's and Borer

I do not see how the oil would smother the borers as they are inside the leaves or rhizomes. The reason contact chemicals do not work. Poison put on the outside of the leaf do not work either. They seldom eat the outside of the leaf. It has to be something absorbed by the plant such as Cygon or Merit. Merit granules have not worked for me. I plan to use the liquid this year.

I sprayed Cygon in 1999 and found the first two borers in 2004. When digging in 2005 quite a few were found. Before 1999 I had a ton. The old wife's tale of one borer per rhizome is untrue. I have seen as many as 50 in a two year old clump. A friend had that clump and we marked it so I could get a start. There were none left just rotting iris and a churning mass of borers. Have not seen anything like it since. I have found two borers in one rhizome since. Quite a few times.

I have a small garden so good clean up spring and fall is not hard. usually dig every two years and do row couture. Planting in beds with other flowers makes borer control harder. Growing Spurias and Siberians gives borers a place to hide and place leaves as they are not dug as often. Plus good clean up on Siberian is almost imposable.

The first borer I ever found was a full grown one eating a bee pod on a 40" + stalk. I have never seen that since. I dug everything and found a lot more. If borers were on the west coast I am sure there would be studies done to find out better controls.

Mike Greenfield

----- Original Message ----- From: "John I Jones" <jijones@usjoneses.com>
To: <iris@hort.net>
Sent: Saturday, February 11, 2006 11:13 AM
Subject: Re: [iris] CULT: Murphey's and Borer

If it is the oil that kills the borers (I imagine by suffocating them) then perhaps a good solution (no pun intended) would be SunSpray Ultra-Fine Oil. It is an ultra refined parafinc oil. I use it here in California to control Whitefly. Pests don't develop an immunity to it because of the way it works. Non-toxic.


They don't list any borers o\r the like, but that just means they haven't tested it.


On Feb 11, 2006, at 7:27 AM, George Schubert wrote:

Murphy's sounds good, obviously much cheaper than the Merit granules or spray, and probably better for the environment. Having said that, we must remember to reapply weekly and after rains, else bad things happen. For me, I know that bad things would happen.
At 10:10 AM 2/11/2006, you wrote:
In a message dated 2/11/2006 10:05:21 AM Eastern Standard Time,
Autmirislvr@aol.com writes:

1/2 cup of Murphy's Oil Soap to 1 gallon water.

Weekly sprayings commencing prior to the appearance of the first borers and
continued through bloom season. Reapply after rain. Use in conjunction
good cleanup.

Thought I'd pass this along!

Actually l, remebered \ this last week when I was swabbing the floors around
here. This was alsom mentioned on the list.

Did anyone ever try this? I recently heard one of the horticultuists--and
she actually is a pro--at the local greenhouse recommend a dilute Murphey's
solution to a woman who had cooties on some houseplant. I'm still asking if
anyone hass ever tried a light dormant oil on the irises for borer, which amounts
to the same thing, I guess. Or does it? Is it the soap part of Murphey's
which is doing the deed, if the deed is being done, or is it the oil residue, or
is it both?


Anner Whitehead
Richmond VA USA USDA Z7

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