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Orange Oil


Oil contains the raw oil collected from the citrus peel during the juicing extraction. No heat is applied during this "cold pressed" process thereby preserving the integrity of the oil. Orange oil has been discovered to be an important ingredient in a variety of household and gardening applications. Orange oil degrades the waxy coating on the exoskeleton of insects, causing dehydration and asphyxiation.


Foliar Solution: Mix 2 oz. per gallon of water. Diluted solution acts as an insect control when applied to plant foliage using a pump sprayer.  Apply during the cooler part of the day to prevent burning of plant foliage.


Soil Drench: Mix 2 oz. per gallon of water. Diluted solution may be poured directly on soil as a natural control for a variety of mound dwelling insects.


Cleaning Solution: Mix 2 oz. per gallon of water. Diluted solution may be used as a natural household cleaner. Test on a small area before use.


One of the most interesting specific products that I talk about that has a considerable amount of research is orange oil. Orange oil can be used in gardening and pest control in several ways.


One of the fire ant products that is currently on the market and has EPA registration for fire ant control is Safer's Fire Ant Control. It used to be called Citrex so you may have heard me talk about it in the past. It is an orange oil or d-limonene product that has very detailed research both from Texas A&M in the field and the University of Texas at Austin in the lab. The product is currently owned by the Woodstream Company and is sold under the name Safer Fire Ant Control Give it a try. It works very well. Another orange oil product with the research behind it needed for its EPA approval is Orange Guard. It is registered for the control of many household insect pests. There are of course many other uses for orange oil and its extract called d-limonene. Just a few of the products include air fresheners, cleaners and soil detox products. Why use toxic chemicals when non-toxic food products work just as well.


Orange Oil is available commercially, or you can make your own:
Put a bunch of citrus peelings in a container and cover them with water. Let them sit for a couple of days, then strain off the liquid. You can extract more oil by simmering the peelings.


The strength of homemade orange oil varies significantly, so you will have to experiment when using it in recipes.  It is impossible to duplicate the concentration of commercial orange oil or d-limonene.


Orange oil is a pleasant smelling solvent.  Commercial d-limonene at full strength can replace a wide variety of products, including mineral spirits, methly ethyl ketone, acetone, toluene and glycol ethers.  Be careful when using strong solutions since it can melt plastic and ruin paint finishes.  For most practical purposes, 1 - 2 ounces per gallon of water should be the maximum concentration.



Oranges aren’t just for eating anymore; you can kill insects, feed your plants so they grow better and even use it for cleaning purposes inside your home. Howard Garrett, the Dirt Doctor, shows you how orange oil along with some other ingredients will improve your home inside and outside.


QUESTION: I am in the fifth grade and I am doing a science fair project. I was wondering if you had the recipe for orange oil you could send to me. I was wondering how orange oil kills bugs. I really need a good grade on this project. C.W., Dallas


ANSWER: Orange oil that is strong enough to kill insects will be a little hard to make at home. The commercial technique extracts the oil from the orange peelings, creating a solvent-like material that will melt the exoskeletons of insects. The strongest oil you can make at home would be to cook a cup of peelings with a cup of water. The resulting liquid will probably kill insects but I don't know how much it can be diluted and still kill. Whether it kills insects or not, it will be a strong cleaning material and the fragrance is pleasant. If it is used on the ground, it is good for the soil and plant roots. Good luck.





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