Hate To Tell You This But That’s Not Really Tree Sap On Your Car
Parking under a tree for some extra shade during the summer months in Texas can have its benefits. But having to clean off that tree sap that oozes down on your vehicle can be a hassle. The good news is that you can clean that stuff off. The bad news is, is that isn't really tree sap. It's bug poo.
Yeah, that sticky substance on your car after parking under a tree is not really from tree sap, but the excrement of little sap-sucking bugs called aphids. Instead of just calling it bug poo, it's called honeydew. I guess that's more appetizing.
Regardless of what people call it, the bottom line, is that it's bug poo. Gross.
Since spring is just around the corner, you're going to see a lot more of this honeydew on your car. But the good news is that there are many ways to clean it off of your vehicle, and there are ways to prevent this from happening in the first place.
How To Get Honeydew Off Your Car
The honeydew won't damage your car immediately, but as it hardens from the sun, it could be very difficult to get it off of your car after a few days. According to Bumper, you can use things like WD40, mineral spirits, baking soda, steam cleaner, and nail polish remover to help get the sticky icky off your car.
Slide on over to Bumper to get a more in-depth look at cleaning honeydew off of your car.
How To Remove Aphids That Cause Honeydew
You don't have to cut any trees down to keep the aphids from secreting this honeydew. You can simply treat the tree to help prevent the aphids from causing the mess.
One thing you can do is plant cover crops around the base of your tree. Clover, alfalfa, sainfoin, and hairy vetch are options to plan as this will help support a variety of parasitoid and predator species that can help reduce your aphid population.
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You can also use a systemic pesticide to control your local aphid population, but some pesticides can also kill your beneficial insects, so choose one that contains Imidacloprid. Products with Imidacloprid will kill the aphids, but won't harm your local pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
Once you've eradicated those aphids and their sticky poo, you'll want to consider some preventative maintenance. One way to prevent aphids from returning is by employing beneficial bugs, like lady beetles and lacewings, as they love to dine on aphids.
Check out Noble Research Institute for more ways to control those sap-sucking pests.
Now that you have this information you didn't know you needed, it makes sense to really wash your hands well after messing with this "tree sap."
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Gallery Credit: Chaz