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Old 09-01-2012, 02:17 AM
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Alcohol on roots?

I recently discovered mealy bugs on the leaves of my Phal ): I wiped them off with some isopropyl alcohol, and I'm also planning to repot in new medium and a disinfected pot asap. My question is, will spraying the roots with isopropyl harm them? Will a one time spray be enough?
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:20 AM
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I think it is ok as long as they dry quickly - I have read some have applied alcohol to roots while repotting due to problems but I think that was a root dunk and then a total dry, I think it was a Phal

I would be worried that it would burn the roots (they are quite delicate in my mind when it comes to applying stuff) but there may be quite a few who do use it with no problems.............sorry I'm not much help really
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:25 AM
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I have accidentally gotten alcohal on roots occasionally, and it did not seem to have any detrimental effects, but don't think I would purposely spray directly on them. Mealies are not a one time treatment sort of critter. They keep coming back if not all killed or removed, including the eggs. Can spead to other plants easily in the same area.
They hide in cracks and crevices,
love to hide and lay eggs in any protected areas...
It took me a year to eradicate from a phaius.
They are the devil's spawn, my arch enemies!
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:37 AM
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I think the only time I've come across Geeks saying they'd used on roots was during repotting so it isn't something being done regularly.........have you looked in the forum under pests and diseases??? (I know you may have already looked but you never know!!!)
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:41 AM
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Ive sprayed roots with isopropanol and not seen any problems. Actually i spray the whole plants flowers/leaves/roots. Still got the mealies though
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:33 AM
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I used a mix of isopropyl and water to kill mealies. I got rid of them on the leaves, but they had invaded the mix. Instead of repotting, I just started soaking the pot in the mix. Well, let's just say a one time accidental spray or two or even a quick dunk may be ok, but my roots quickly dried up and the plant died.

Personally, I would pot it up in fresh mix and clean the roots off really well, based in my mentioned experience, lol...
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:58 AM
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If your infestation is heavy enough that they are in the pot then your best bet is to unpot the plant...soap it up (basically wash it) and then let it soak in a soapy water solution for awhile. Maybe 30-60 minutes. After the soak rinse really well and pot up in new medium. The wash and soapy soak gets into all the little nooks and crannies and kill any that are hiding down in those areas and it'll take care of anything attached to the roots.

Once potted in the new set up keep an eye on it for a couple of weeks to make sure you have no survivors.

If this plant was near other plants and the infestation was heavy then you should expect they have also invaded nearby plants. Keep an eye on all of them.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:05 AM
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My final solution to the mealies....mixed up a gallon of avid....took the plant out of the soil...soaked the plant for 15 mins submerged....threw the pot away....sprayed the entire area with 1 part bleach, 9 parts water...aired dried the plant and the area, and now no more mealies...one note...that phaius hates me, and I hate it....grrrr...always something with it...got it looking great...brought it to work...sigh...forgot it in the car....oh yes, 90 and windows up...lost most of the leaves...AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! did it die?? oh no, growing a new shoot...I will never get it to flower, and it will never die...go figure???
The bane of my existence....
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:08 AM
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WOW!!! I'm so sorry for your experience with the Phal but glad you got rid of the critters!

I absolutely love my Phaius'!!! I've never found them difficult at all, especially to get them to bloom. May I ask how you care for yours, what type it is and the lowest temperatures you allow it to get/feel? I'd live for you to share the same joy I get from mine every year!!!!
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:47 PM
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You can safely (at least on hybrid phals) bathe roots first, then use one teaspoon alcool/liter to bathe roots with mealy bugs. Done it already a few times and it's fine. Note that I don't dot it as often as I spray the upper parts of the phals in case of invasion. It puts a big stop to bugs.

Note that I use normal alcool (Methylated spirit) as I don't have isopropanol for now, and the normal bath before limits eventual issues.

I can't tell for other genus…
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:34 PM
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Thanks guys. It wasn't a very big infestation, so I wiped everything i could see on the leaves off, sprayed it down with isopropyl and removed all the media. I let it soak in a soapy water solution for a good 30 minutes, rinsed and repotted it in new medium and pot, so I guess only time will tell now if i got rid of them or not. Here's hoping :x
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:17 PM
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:25 PM
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Please keep us posted!!! Good luck!
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:35 PM
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Joyce, What is avid? Just when I think I have gotten rid of them on my phal... I didn't see any for 2 weeks then.... today I find 2. What the heck?!
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:51 PM
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They are persistent. My infestation, despite not swing evidence for 2 weeks or more, was evident! Thus why isolation is always best I these circumstances, as soon as detected!
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:38 PM
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The only time I've noticed alcohol affects the roots is if you spray a root tip. They tend to die off if it gets some on the tip.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovePhals View Post
Joyce, What is avid? Just when I think I have gotten rid of them on my phal... I didn't see any for 2 weeks then.... today I find 2. What the heck?!
avid is a really powerful insecticide....it is a mitricide and insecticide...will kill most anything. I had used it on spidermites and aphids, works the first time for adults and babies....anything crawling. So I thought it would work well on the mealies, and it did...oh yeah!! so far so good...months without the fuzzy devils!
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:16 AM
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Alcohol on roots

xKTx, I've never done that but I'd be a little cautious if I'd even do it at all. Rather, I'd get a systemic insecticide and use. Just take it outside for a while to out gas. Leeflea.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:25 PM
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Well, so just to update, the plant itself is doing fine, it even started to throw out a new leaf! but the alcohol or soap mixture did kill the growing tips of new roots. The older roots and even the new roots are still healthy, but the tips shrivelled away. I noticed a bit of fluff this morning that looked like mealybug fluff, but maybe I'm being paranoid...no other signs yet.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:34 PM
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Man, you guys must have mutant mealybugs. So far I've found them here an there on a few plants, I just pick them off and dab the area with alcohol on a q-tip, never had a bigger problem than that. I've found maybe 5 mealys total, 3 on a rescue phal and 1 each on my phal deliciosa x chibae and my den antenatum. They were all sitting in front of open windows too. I've never had an infestation though.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:45 PM
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Vian - it's because you caught them early.

If they are allowed to get even a little bit of a foothold it can seem like forever before they are gone. I had a horrible infestation from some ferns...I think it was about 5yrs ago. They came in on the ferns and they moved...and moved....and moved. Every time I thought I had them gone...I would find them again. I finally got control but geeeez, it was probably 3 months of battling them before I totally eradicated the little b*****ds. Now I inspect my plants regularly for anything (I didn't used to be vigilant about this) and if I see anything at all the surrounding plants also get the treatment (whether home remedy or big guns).
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:02 PM
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My daily, sometimes twice daily checks of the orchids must be paying off then! I go around and inspect every orchid at least once a day, check if it needs water, and check for bugs in all the leaf crevaces, as well as for roots, spikes, and new growth

That would probably be harder for people with orchids numbering in the tripple digits instead of the doubles still.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:45 PM
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xKTx, beware, they can be somewhere else too, not only on orchids. And just wait to come back. Have a close look at every other plants you may have around (in and out) so you can spot the eventual bug tank with divisions of them awaiting the next invasion.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:34 AM
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Lepetitmartien, it's funny you should say that, as I had never encountered mealy bugs before. I noticed a large fuzzy looking clump on a cutting of a house plant i was trying to propagate and I thought it was lint. When it started to appear on my orchid I thought something was up, and lo and behold, mealybugs. I've since thrown away the heavily infected house plant, and checked all my other orchids obsessively. Still no sign of recurrence
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:40 AM
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On my side, the infestation started end of summer a year ago. I wasn't around a long time, and a NOID phal rescued in spring was invaded heavily in september. I cleaned with alcohol, and started soap only treatments, the result was so so… (a few spotted a day/week). In January I attacked with alcohol/soap and did an alcohol bath, it put a near stop and only one or two bugs a week/2 weeks. The NOID was repotted anew (and alcohol bathed again, btw it's still blooming. In Spring, I found out I had a few house plants with bugs, two heavily invaded. I treated with alcohol and used a systemic later. It's finished on one, the other has still one or two showing/week. I've had a few phals in, rescued, this spring, invaded, and it looked bad. After treatment (bath, and soap/alcohol when needed) it's only a few bugs/week. After this summer, they are still around as there was no check/treatment for 2 months, but after a little look after, it's back to low bug noise. I think I'll have to pass by the systemic chemical genocide to get things straight. But at least it's under control and the reserves are identified and cured/curing in a good way.

I found out that some plants are more sensible to them than others. You can have 2 phals side by side, one with bugs, and never see one on the other. But don't tempt the devil…

Also, even if it's obvious : if you care about your phal and give it good conditions, it'll fight head front the bugs. It is part of the cure.

I have not observed the end of root issue on my phals with alcohol bath, maybe it's a question of dilution (or I'm half blind maybe).

Even if Alcohol reduced a lot the issue to near nothing, it did not stop the problem unfortunately.

Me, myself and I personal guidelines:
- remove them (cotton/alcohol, tooth stick…)
- treat with soap/alcohol mix, and don't forget the alcohol
- bath if possible/adventurous with a little alcohol (hybrid Phals only for now)
- repot if severe invasion
- watch watch watch
- find the invasions you HAVE elsewhere and care about them
- if it can't be stopped, then systemic.
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1joyceh View Post
avid is a really powerful insecticide....it is a mitricide and insecticide...will kill most anything. I had used it on spidermites and aphids, works the first time for adults and babies....anything crawling. So I thought it would work well on the mealies, and it did...oh yeah!! so far so good...months without the fuzzy devils!
Hi Joyce,
In searching for help with my mealy bug infestation, I found this older thread.

I'm fed up with them. I just ordered some Avid. One question...did you need to re-treat the plants, or did the one dunk do the job?

Thanks,
Katherine
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Old 06-02-2014, 04:40 PM
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With AVID, I've been told to treat 2-3 times every 7 to 10 days.
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:03 PM
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I thought Avid was a miticide - pricey stuff!

You might want to try an Imidacloprid-based systemic unless there is a good reason not to (such as insects developing a tolerance). Much cheaper.
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
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I thought Avid was a miticide - pricey stuff!

You might want to try an Imidacloprid-based systemic unless there is a good reason not to (such as insects developing a tolerance). Much cheaper.
I thought it was a miticide, too, until I read that Joyce used it successfully for mealy bugs.

I've been battling the mealy bugs for about a year and a half. Imidacloprid doesn't seem to be helping.

Fighting mealy bugs was indirectly responsible for me losing nearly my entire collection of phals...well over 50 plants. By comparison, the Avid is inexpensive.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:13 AM
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Sorry about the mealies but it's great to "see" you, Katherine.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:35 PM
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Hi Kat (and everyone else)!

I've been so busy lately, I haven't had much time for on-line orchiding, which is a shame. I do so enjoy being here!

One new thing in my life is that we started a small water garden last summer. It's now expanded into a small pond and bog, with goldfish and water plants. It's been a steep learning curve, helped by a forum much like this one.

I lost nearly all my phals over the winter. I finally figured out what had caused it. Late last summer and early fall, I repotted every plant, pulling off all the old leaves and rooting out all the stinking mealy bugs. Then I repotted them all. I sprayed them again, and left them out overnight to dry off completely before bringing them indoors. A couple weeks later, I discovered every plant had a ring of white fungus around the top of the pot. I treated them all with both Physan and Phyton. It went away, and I didn't think of it again.

Then, a month or so later, the phals started losing the bottom leaves rapidly, and then the entire plant. I pulled them out of the pot and the roots usually were completely dried out. I thought that perhaps I had over-insecticided them...as in the cure for the mealy bugs worked, but killed the plant, too.

Finally, after losing over 50 plants, I saw an article in the AOS magazine that showed the leaf loss (just like mine) and the fungus on the plant. I had not until that point put the two events together. I think they may have picked up a fungus during the cooler night they spent outdoors, and it blossomed into big trouble for me. According to the article, by the time you see evidence of the fungus (leaf loss), it's too late to save the plant.

As you can imagine, I was quite disheartened about the loss of all my lovely phals, many of which I had grown from small plants. Quite a few species I had collected over time. Almost all gone.

On the positive side...more room for new plants! I'm going slowly with the new acquisitions, because even with the loss of 1/5 of my collection, I have had some trouble keeping up with their care. Just busy, busy.

Anyway, I try to pop in here occasionally, just to see some lovely photos.

Nice to "see" you too!
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:47 PM
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That's a real shame about the fungus, and scarey too, for those of us who take plants outside during the summer. I hate to think about nasty things swirling around in the breezes, although I know they are there.

Have a good time with the new acquisitions, though. It's a small compensation.
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