We have a beautiful Star Magnolia Tree right by our front door. Last year toward the middle of summer we started noticing tons of bees and wasps swarming around the tree. We also noticed what seemed to be a sap dripping on the ground. With closer observation I noticed a white cottony looking substance on the bark of the tree. I did a little research and found out that it was actually infested with Magnolia Scale. The Magnolia Scale bugs will not kill the tree but as they feed off of the bark they produce a byproduct that is sticky and sweet and the bees were just loving it. Luckily the bees were so busy lapping up the sweet bug poop that they were not interested in us at all. I knew though that I had to get rid of this because we had a few bees get in the house.
I am not a fan of using chemicals on my trees so the first thing I tried was using soapy water in a sprayer. I had to wait until night to do it but this really made very little difference. I think that the magnolia scale just laughed at my attempts. Then I tried some Raid Earth Options Yellow Jacket Traps. While this did catch some yellow jackets it really was not the answer to my problem. I decided to try the Bayer Advanced 12 month Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed because it goes into the ground and is absorbed by the tree and then it kills the bugs that feed on it. I also liked that I only needed to use it once every 12 months to control the Magnolia Scale.
Information and Experience
Description: Bayer Advanced 12 month Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed comes in a 4lb plastic Jug. The granules are brown in color and not powdery. The Jug has a plastic measuring cup attached to the top of the container. I ended up using nearly the whole jug for my one tree.
This product works not only as a bug killer but also as a long acting fertilizers. Plants that are healier will be more resistant to pets so it is addressing not only the bug problem but also improving nutrition.
Active Ingredients: Imidacloprid 1.1%
How to Use: To use Bayer Advanced 12 month Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed simple read the back of the container for the amount to use. You are directed to sprinkle the amount evenly in a circle around your tree. The amount used is determined by the size of the tree or shrub. I wanted to try to eliminate as much as possible the impact of the chemicals on animals that might be walking around so I removed a trench of mulch a few inches deep in a circle around my tree. I then poured the granules carefully into the trench to hopefully not scatter any on the surface. I then covered up the product with mulch.
After applying the granules you have to water them in. Remember that the product is absorbed by the roots so without water they will not begin to work. I would caution against using a strong stream from a hose and potentially washing away the product. I placed a sprinkler on a fine mist and let it run for about an hour the first day. I set it to run for a few more days since we had so little rain last summer. After I was sure it was watered in I quit watering.
How Well it works: The product will not give instant effects. In my case with the Magnolia Tree, I noticed a change that happened gradually over the course of a few weeks. When fall came and all the leaves fell I could not even see any left over ill effects from the bugs. All the sticky material had washed away and the white cottony stuff was gone too. The bees disappeared as the sticky stuff was washed away by the rain.
I was very happy with the way this product worked. I used it in the summer of last year so I am hoping that these bugs will never take hold this spring. Since it says it protects for 12 months I should be ok for the entire summer. The bugs I was treating are cyclic and if they are not around in the spring I should not notice the damage in the summer. I will watch it closely and at the first sign I will reapply the Bayer Advanced 12 month Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed.
Warnings: Read the label carefully. You do not want to be using this on everything. It is not safe for many fruit bearing trees. It does say it is ok for some but if it were me I would not use it anywhere near a fruit bearing tree, shrub or plant. Obviously take care to not get this on your skin. Use gloves when applying and just be careful. Read the entire label and follow all directions before using.
Final Thoughts and Rating
While I really do not like using chemicals, Bayer Advanced 12 month Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed worked well and I think I am able to use it minimally without having to spray it all over everything. It seems about as safe as I can get, and by using something effective I can use less chemicals overall. I am giving it 5 stars. Use with care