Orchids forum: Mealy Bugs

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Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Feb 19, 2012 6:02 PM CST
I bought a new phalaenopsis a couple months ago and failed to keep it isolated from my other phals. Now I have mealy bugs running amok through my plants Grumbling (so far only my orchids but in time I'm sure the others will fall) I'm at a loss on how to get rid of them. I live in Ontario Canada and all our useful chemical treatments have been banned, I've been using rubbing alcohol but can't keep up with the little bleeeps. Does ANYBODY have a suggestion? Can the plants be sprayed with the rubbing alcohol without killing the plant? I'd very much appreciate any suggestions on how to at least control if not eliminate the little monsters.
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Feb 19, 2012 6:44 PM CST
Brian, do you have the Bayer 3 in one product in your area? It's marketed for roses but works
on orchids as well. I have used that in addition to alcohol and quarenteen... good luck!
lindsey
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Feb 19, 2012 7:00 PM CST

Moderator

That would be Merit/Imidacloprid. I sure works.
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Feb 19, 2012 8:12 PM CST
Thanks but the only thing available to us is pyrethrin and insecticidal soap. Neither of which has ever worked for me for mealy bugs or spider mites.
I may have to go visit my friend in the US Big Grin
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Feb 19, 2012 8:27 PM CST
Brian, I can think of two things that you may find available. The first is predator insects such as ladybird beetles and green lacewings as well as parasitoids (ie., tiny wasps) that can suppress mealy populations enough so that insecticide use is unnecessary. Some parasitic fungi can also reduce populations. The second is low toxic controls such as horticular oils. Even three tablespoons of cooking oil in a gallon of water may work for you. I've had some luck with soapy water but it seems to work better on aphids than mealy bugs

Jim
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Feb 20, 2012 5:06 AM CST
The oil sounds promising,how do you keep it suspended in the water? Do you put a little soap in to keep it from separating out? I can't use other insects as I'm grow ing the orchids in my apartment.
Name: Ken
Fredericton, N.B. Canada
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Ironwood
Feb 20, 2012 11:52 AM CST
Neem Oil is somewhat effective for this purpose and is readily available here in Canada.

A link from the Ottawa Orchid Society :
http://www.ottawaorchidsociety.com/neem_oil.htm

The Bayer "Rose and Flower Insect Killer" is very effective for this purpose, so a trip abroad might be in order.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Feb 20, 2012 4:08 PM CST
If it's worth a trip abroad, get the Bayer Insect, disease, and Mite Control. It comes in ready to spray or concentrate. Neem oil or superfine oil should work, but it takes frequent applications.
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Feb 20, 2012 4:13 PM CST
and don't forget to stop at the duty free shopping area at the border!
lindsey
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Feb 20, 2012 7:38 PM CST
Thanks Carol & Ken, I think I'll be making the trip (for other reasons too Big Grin ) and will most certainly be visiting the duty free store Lindsey! Sticking tongue out
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Feb 20, 2012 7:56 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
lindsey
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Feb 21, 2012 10:26 PM CST
I use isopropyl alcohol with a T of peppermint soap in a quart sprayer on my orchids these days. The mealies turn to brown mush. Very satisfying and so easy. I'd try that first.
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Feb 22, 2012 5:10 AM CST
Kathy how much is a T? Teaspoon or tablespoon? In how much alcohol? Do you spray it on or dab the bugs with a cotton swab?
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Feb 22, 2012 6:09 AM CST
I fill the sprayer almost all full and add a Tablespoon of peppermint soap (I use Dr. Woods). I spray it on then rub my fingers on the leaves gently to take off the dead bugs. Best with rubber gloves because the alcohol dries out your hands. I use it on scale too. It kills them instantly but the scale takes more work to get off the leaves.
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Feb 22, 2012 2:31 PM CST
Good info, Kathy. I'll have to try that.

Jim
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Feb 22, 2012 3:19 PM CST
I got this formula from an Amherst Orchid Society member last summer and I've been happily spraying ever since. They come back but they always did with the Bayer too and this is sooo much cheaper!
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Feb 23, 2012 3:45 PM CST
I'll have to file that one away..I love watching the near instant death of a nasty pest!
lindsey
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Feb 23, 2012 3:54 PM CST
Let me know if it works for you too.

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