White oil

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White oil is a homemade insecticide spray used for controlling a wide range of insect pests in the garden. The spray works by blocking the breathing pores of insects, causing suffocation and death. It is effective in the control of aphids, scale, mealybug, mites, citrus leaf miner and smooth skinned caterpillars.

"White oil" is also an alternative name for mineral oil.


The quantities vary depending on the source, but a typical mixture is 4 parts of vegetable oil (a non-mineral oil) to one part of dish-washing detergent (for washing by hand). Blend in a mixer until homogeneous and store. Dilute 1:50 with water for use, spraying leaves from above and below.


  • Canola White Oil - "Oils ain't Oils Soll!", Rob Smythe MSc [1]
  • Gardening Australia - Fact Sheet: Horticultural Oils [2]
  • ABC Riverina NSW [3]
  • "Fact Sheet: How To Manage Citrus Trees", 'Gardening Australia', ABC, Australia; accessed 2013-01-28