Tropicals forum: Acephate or Imidacloprid?

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Name: Mima
SoCal Sunset Zone 18/19 (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Rabbit Keeper Plumerias Region: California
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sfrangu
Dec 31, 2014 7:47 PM CST
I have a big problem with mealybugs on some of my tropicals. I've tried already the alcohol wiping, even sprayed them with neem oil and some insecticide afterwards, but they keep coming back and I'm afraid they'll kill my plants. I'd buy some Orthene but currently all my plants are in my living room over winter. How safe is to use Orthene (acephate) with us in the house? Would Imidacloprid be safer for us but still effective against mealybugs?
Any input is highly appreciated.
Thank you.
If at first you don't succeed, call it version 1.0
Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you've been up to.
My "bunnies" are in fact Guinea pigs. 5 of them so far.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Dec 31, 2014 8:10 PM CST
Just get some diatomaceous earth .. totally inorganic. You use it with a duster. If you get food grade DE then it's totally safe around pets and kids.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Dec 31, 2014 8:23 PM CST
I really like DE for indoor use as well. Not only is it 'inorganic' but it is an inert substance that kills the bugs mechanically, not by chemically poisoning them. Don't use it outdoors, except maybe for slugs and snails (on the ground) as it will also kill beneficial insects like bees and ladybugs. Also wear a mask if you use more than a little big, as it can irritate your nasal passages - makes me sneeze! I buy the garden grade, although not as 'pure' as food grade DE, it is still very safe.

Here's a (ridiculously long) link that explains it: http://organicgardening.about.com/od/organicgardeningglossar...
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Mima
SoCal Sunset Zone 18/19 (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Rabbit Keeper Plumerias Region: California
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sfrangu
Dec 31, 2014 8:26 PM CST
Thank you, Anne. I was thinking to use a systemic insecticide because I've been trying all kind of stuff and poor plants are looking worse and worse with the nasty mealybugs coming back and keeping sucking on them while I'm trying this and that. I just want to use something extremely sure to get rid of them, something systemic. Maybe pellets would work better than spray?

I'd like to try beneficial nematodes too. Anybody tried those?
If at first you don't succeed, call it version 1.0
Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you've been up to.
My "bunnies" are in fact Guinea pigs. 5 of them so far.
Name: Mima
SoCal Sunset Zone 18/19 (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Rabbit Keeper Plumerias Region: California
Image
sfrangu
Dec 31, 2014 8:28 PM CST
Thanks Elaine, I think we were writing at the same time.

So DE could be in the indoor air after applying it... with highly allergic persons around, I'm afraid to use it. How long does it take for it to settle on the plants?
If at first you don't succeed, call it version 1.0
Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you've been up to.
My "bunnies" are in fact Guinea pigs. 5 of them so far.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Dec 31, 2014 9:17 PM CST
It settles right away, I was using it outside in my screened pool cage, on my orchids when a puff of wind blew it into my face.

I use it indoors, under cupboards and in crannys for ants and roaches here. Never had a problem with breathing it indoors. But if you're worried, maybe put all the plants in the bathroom with the vent fan running, and dust them all in there, then wait a few minutes to make sure the stuff isn't flying around. It's not allergenic, just an 'irritant'. In fact it's so benign, people take it as a dietary supplement.

Systemics have another drawback besides their latent toxicity. The bugs get resistant to them quite quickly. Just like people using antibiotics too often, if any bugs survive the first treatment then they reproduce and the young are resistant to the insecticide.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Mima
SoCal Sunset Zone 18/19 (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Rabbit Keeper Plumerias Region: California
Image
sfrangu
Jan 1, 2015 12:47 PM CST
Thanks for the detailed explanation, Elaine. One more question: what could I use to stop them from getting out of the eggs in the soil? Would DE do that too? Or how often to reapply it in order to catch the newborn mealybugs, freshly coming out after the others died under DE?

And happy new year!!
If at first you don't succeed, call it version 1.0
Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you've been up to.
My "bunnies" are in fact Guinea pigs. 5 of them so far.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 1, 2015 4:41 PM CST
It doesn't dissolve or lose its effectiveness, really. Eventually it will wash off the plant and down into the soil, but I would think one application should take care of the next generation nicely as well.

Mealybugs are 'crawlers' when they're younger which makes them even more susceptible to the abrasive action of the DE. Be sure to dust the lower stems of the plants, as well as the soil surface, and leaf axils.

I am suffering with you, btw, just discovered a plague of mealies on one of my orchids, so the DE is in use here today, too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Mima
SoCal Sunset Zone 18/19 (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Rabbit Keeper Plumerias Region: California
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sfrangu
Jan 2, 2015 9:15 AM CST
Does it take long for DE to kill the culprits?
If at first you don't succeed, call it version 1.0
Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you've been up to.
My "bunnies" are in fact Guinea pigs. 5 of them so far.
Name: Mima
SoCal Sunset Zone 18/19 (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Rabbit Keeper Plumerias Region: California
Image
sfrangu
Jan 2, 2015 9:17 AM CST
Sorry to hear about your orchid. Please keep me updated on how you used DE to get rid of the mealybugs.

Thank you again.
If at first you don't succeed, call it version 1.0
Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you've been up to.
My "bunnies" are in fact Guinea pigs. 5 of them so far.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jan 2, 2015 11:20 AM CST
On orchids they hide in the leaf axils so I just puff a tiny bit into all the crannies, and any stems or roots that are exposed. You know how orchids like to show their 'legs' off.

No it doesn't take long at all. Any movement by the bugs exposes them to the sharp material and they dehydrate very fast after they are wounded.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Lakeland Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower Cat Lover Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad
Xeriscape Pollen collector Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Florida Seed Starter Container Gardener
cycadjungle
Jan 2, 2015 10:22 PM CST
I would not use Orthene inside. I would take old coffee grounds and BTW than again and again until the mixture is real dark and use that as a direct contact spray. On small plants, the grounds mixed in the soil will systemically kill, but it only lasts about 4 to 5 months and then the alkaloids in the coffee seem to neutralize. Tom
Name: Mima
SoCal Sunset Zone 18/19 (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Rabbit Keeper Plumerias Region: California
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sfrangu
Jan 2, 2015 10:42 PM CST
Very interesting. I knew about the coffee grounds but we don't drink coffee on a regular basis so it's difficult to get them used.
Thank you much, Tom.
If at first you don't succeed, call it version 1.0
Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you've been up to.
My "bunnies" are in fact Guinea pigs. 5 of them so far.
[Last edited by sfrangu - Jan 2, 2015 10:43 PM (+)]
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Lakeland Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower Cat Lover Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad
Xeriscape Pollen collector Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Florida Seed Starter Container Gardener
cycadjungle
Jan 3, 2015 7:49 AM CST
sfrangu said:Very interesting. I knew about the coffee grounds but we don't drink coffee on a regular basis so it's difficult to get them used.
Thank you much, Tom.


If you have a Starbucks anywhere close, they give them away for free. I pick them up all the time without using to purchase anything.
Name: Mima
SoCal Sunset Zone 18/19 (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Rabbit Keeper Plumerias Region: California
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sfrangu
Jan 3, 2015 9:19 PM CST
Got a whole big bag of coffee grounds, thanks for the idea! Now how to use them? Just sprinkle some on top of the soil, then water? Or mix some of the grounds with the top soil?
If at first you don't succeed, call it version 1.0
Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you've been up to.
My "bunnies" are in fact Guinea pigs. 5 of them so far.
[Last edited by sfrangu - Jan 3, 2015 9:20 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #758221 (15)
Lakeland Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower Cat Lover Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad
Xeriscape Pollen collector Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Florida Seed Starter Container Gardener
cycadjungle
Jan 3, 2015 10:41 PM CST
I normally use it as a direct contact spray. Even though this was an article for cycads, the barrel in the article can be used to kill all kinds of scales, mealy bugs, aphids, white flies and spider mites. I use it all kinds of ways, but this will get you started. Look at the bottom article on this page
http://cycadjungle.8m.com/cycadjungle/articles.html

If you don't need this much spray, you can use a panty hose and a 5 gallon bucket. I use it in the soil to systemically kill aphids on my hot pepper plants.
Name: Mima
SoCal Sunset Zone 18/19 (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Rabbit Keeper Plumerias Region: California
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sfrangu
Jan 4, 2015 2:01 PM CST
Yeah, I don't have that many plants, so I will make a smaller quantity. Thank you so much!
If at first you don't succeed, call it version 1.0
Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you've been up to.
My "bunnies" are in fact Guinea pigs. 5 of them so far.
[Last edited by sfrangu - Jan 4, 2015 2:47 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #758616 (17)
Name: Mima
SoCal Sunset Zone 18/19 (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Rabbit Keeper Plumerias Region: California
Image
sfrangu
Jan 4, 2015 2:46 PM CST
Just before starting this, do you have any advice regarding the concentration of the coffee re-brew? And are you using all of it, including the grounds on the bottom?
Thanks again so much.
If at first you don't succeed, call it version 1.0
Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you've been up to.
My "bunnies" are in fact Guinea pigs. 5 of them so far.
Lakeland Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower Cat Lover Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad
Xeriscape Pollen collector Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Florida Seed Starter Container Gardener
cycadjungle
Jan 5, 2015 2:43 PM CST
The silver bags weigh 6 to 7 pounds and it makes 55 gallons. 3/4 lb would do a 5 gallon bucket full. Let it step until the liquid is real dark. For me, it takes about 10 days just sitting in the sun. If you swished the grounds up an down in the water each day, it might do it faster.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jan 5, 2015 8:31 PM CST
If it's for just a few plants, why not just brew up a pot of strong coffee. Would only take 10 minutes, instead of 10 days (plus time to cool off) and if anything would be more potent than the brew from used grounds.

Those mealybugs will be off to the races if you wait another 10 days on treating them, jmho.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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