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Old 02-12-2011, 05:27 PM
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Mealy Bugs???

I'm pretty sure these are mealy bugs and I am about to kill myself. Can't seem to get rid of them. I'm pretty sure they started from a big palm tree that I got from Home Depot last year. I didn't notice anything on the plant but one day I
spotted a big white cluster at the base. I wasn't sure what it was because it looked like a big white mass. I kept treating the plant and couldn't get rid of it. I finally got rid of the plant (I hate to say) because they kept reappearing in different places - on the fronds and stems and base etc.
After I got rid of it started seeing on my orchids and then on my big Spath. and a hanging hoya. It was cold already and been treating with something called Pharmcare with Rosemary for plants. Supposed to be safe for humans and animals. We have a big open space and no where to isolate. I have 6 pekes and two parakeets and don't want to use anything poisonous now. If it were warm could spray with something stronger outside. I guess this product is safe for bugs too. I just found some of the monsters on my phal. flowers that just opened. I read somewhere about using cinnamon. Does this really work? Would that be powder or extract and mixed with how much of what. Also what would the schedule be for spraying since they keep coming back. Too many plants to repot them all at the same time. I hope someone can help before it's too late. Have two attachments (I hope-reduced them).
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:24 PM
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Eww, it sure is mealy bugs! I use a mix of water/isopropyl alcohol/dish soap/cinnamon extract. It will take more than 1 treatment to get rid of. Be thorough in spraying, I'd spray once a week for a few weeks at least.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:49 PM
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Imidacloprid is usually effective.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:16 PM
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Try Brookyn's Recipe found in the thread "the best stuff ever". As a newbie I found alot of good information in that thread. I use Brookyn's recipe regularly and it has proven to be very helpful (and it's non-toxic).
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:53 PM
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As the others have indicated, you've diagnosed correctly: you have mealy bugs. The good news is that these are one of the easier pests to get rid of. As you've heard form the others they can be eradicated with home remedies. My mealy-killer of choice is insecticidal soap. You can buy it in America under the brand name Safer's. Applied 2 or 3 times as per directions usually does the job.
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:36 AM
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Hi,
I use Brookins recipe but add like 15 drops of 70 percent rubbing alcohol to the batch it works really well for mealies and aphids plus other critters
If you want to find Safers soap orchid supply hardware store carries it.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:41 AM
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When they keep reappearing, it's definite that they have a hidden place where they continually chug out new mealies. That can be in the junction between stem and leaf, or the node covers on a flower stem-- you will be amazed at the hiding places they have. Or it often is mealies *in the roots and medium*.

For this kind of outbreak, you should repot, or at least de-pot it and check the roots. You also need a systemic (taken into the plant and therefore poisons anything that feeds off it).
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:01 PM
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Thank you and thank everyone

I'm going to try to find cinnamon extract this week and will make up the
mix. As I said, they keep turning up. I will use this. About how often...I don't know the life cycle of this beast.
I have a large number of plants here...misc. besides orchids and it would be
quite a job trying to repot them all at once. Regarding systemic...can you recommend one and how to use it? I really hate these creatures. If the systemic has to be sprayed I'll have to wait until it's warm enough to take outside because of the dogs, etc.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:24 PM
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aaaaaah, nasty buggers!!!!!!! Good luck with that. I treated a plant of mine that came in with mealys with Brook's recipe....I pulled it out of its pot, soaked the plant, repotted and continued spraying it when ever I thought about it for the next couple of weeks.....no sign of them since. GL

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Old 02-14-2011, 04:40 PM
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Whatever you do, treat the medium! Pour the solution through the pot. Eggs lurk there and continue to hatch if you only treat the top. You should treat the plant once a week for at least three weeks, both top and root area.

You can use Brookn's receipe with the alcohol in it (you can even try 50% water and 50% alcohol) to hold them at bay until you can treat the plants outside. You might want to try Bayer Rose and Flower spray, which is a systemic, or as kmarch says, insecticidal soap.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:54 PM
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Here is a "recipe" I got off another forum that many swear by:

1 part of rubbing alcohol
1 part of 409
4 parts of water

TO GET RID OF MEALY BUGS
I dunked the infested plants in their pots in a bucket of water with a couple of drops of a growth regulator.(1 tbsp per 5 gallons)
I repeated the process 10 days after and the mealies are gone.
Growth regulators prevent the young mealies from molting therefore not completing their lifecycle, eggs won't hatch and it makes the females sterile. Good stuff
And it doesn't harm the plants
It will not kill the existing adults but destroy the future generations and mess up the adults reproductive system.
Getting rid of the adults is the "easy" part and can be done by spraying like Liz recommended. (the recipe before this)
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:42 PM
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more dumb questions.....

I still haven't found cinnamon extract. I have seen cinnamon essential oil
in the health food store. Can this be used? The store clerk said it is very
concentrated and would not use as much. I didn't get it because I was unsure.So the Bayer Rose Spray is a systemic?
Is the Imidacloprid also a systemic?
Someone mentioned putting plant in a bucket with growth regulator. This would mean the plant unpotted? This would be difficult with the number of plants I have, esp. the larger non orchids.
Can a solution like the cinnamon one just be poured through the plants. I really
feel dumb asking all these questons and I guess I have been really lucky in the
past not having an infestation like this.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:19 PM
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You were right to not pick up the oil. It doesn't stay mixed in the solution like the extract does AND if you have the plant in the sun it can burn the leaves a bit. (ask me how I discovered this?) The only local place I've ever found the extract is at Walmart.

Imidacloprid is systemic but it's not something I'd be comfortable using while indoors. Here's a link to some good information on the chemical. Imidacloprid

Mealies are fairly easy to kill it's just staying on top of alllllll the babies that keep popping up.

If the infestation is heavy, the best solution is to re-pot into fresh medium. However, if that is not easily done, you can pour the solution through the medium when you treat the tops.

Just be sure to stay on top of the treatments...they are persistent little buggers. I think it was 3 years ago when I had a bit of a problem on a handful of plants and it took me a couple of months to finally stop seeing them. They were inside so I didn't want to use the "big guns"...I isolated those plants so the problem didn't spread and I was super vigilant.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:32 PM
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Keep checking the baking departments of every store you go into. It's with the extracts.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:13 PM
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frustrated

Thank you so much for your replies. What happened with the essential oil? Just curious.
The plants wouldn't be hard to repot if I could do one or two a day but if I did that afraid It would spread back to the original new pottings. Also the big houseplant with all the leaves will be a big job.
I did try three supermarkets with no success. I got the brilliant idea to go to Amazon and they did have cinnamon extract but one had stevia and distilled with water and other had a large postage charge. I went to the Walmart site. We don't have any Walmarts near us in Brooklyn, NY. They did have the one oz. bottles there with a 97 cent charge for shipping. I ordered two of them and then can take my time looking. I wanted to get started asap.
Most of my plants are together in the big living room window and shelves. I have a few in the kitchen which haven't been near them and they're fine..a couple of paphs. and a tiny Tolumnia I got from Normas orchids on eBay. I never grew one and was a little afraid so I put her in the kitchen where I could mist her whenever I was in the room, also clamped a light above her and happy to say she's thriving and even has a spike with buds now. Can't wait to see what the flowers look like and afraid I might need a microscope to see them. Sorry, off the subject. Thank you all again.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nross View Post
What happened with the essential oil? Just curious.
The oil didn't stay suspended in solution and I ended up getting oil drops on the leaves. The plant was in the sun...the oil drops on the leaves + the sun = burn spots on the leaves. It was a thin leafed Stanhopea...had it been a thicker leafed plant it might not have been so bad.

Also, it might not have been so bad had I done the spraying on a cloudy day and/or had I put the plant in the shade. However, cinnamon is a "hot" oil and even w/out direct sun, I might have had a problem. Either way...I will never use cinnamon oil on leaves again.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:53 AM
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Anyone ever use Advantage flea and tick control on their dogs? The active ingredient is imidacloprid.

Imidacloprid (Advantage®,K9 Advantix®)

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Old 02-17-2011, 08:27 AM
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Brooke -- Good point on the flea control BUT don't the Imidacloprid products typically contain other insecticide chemicals? A combo product?
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:48 AM
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Katrina are you talking about the flea product or the plant insecticide?

For fleas no, it is the only insecticide. For plants, one Bayer product is only imidacloprid and another Bayer product has another chemical along with the imidacloprid.

I always wondered why I never got fleas Seriously it did teach me to make sure I kept the Bayer off of my skin.

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Old 02-17-2011, 09:05 AM
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OOPS...sorry. Yeah, I was talking about the plant products.

I know I used something a couple years ago...when I had scale on a plant...but I couldn't remember if it had ingredients beside the imid. Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:16 PM
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I use and prefer the two insecticide Bayer product. The imidacloprid is a great systemic and the other insecticide is instant death. The imi in that product is a higher percentage of the insecticide.

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Old 02-17-2011, 02:01 PM
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You can essentially make your own cinnamon extract using a high proof alcohol (everclear or vodka) and putting ground cinnamon in it. I don't have any personal experience doing that. I've only ever used ground cinnamon, not the extract.
I'm not sure of the proportions or how long you need to wait though.
Google (or someone on the forum!) could probably help you with that.
:edit:
Oh Ray Barkalow, you are so helpful:
First Rays' Home Remedies

P.S.:
I should really put more thought into my posts because I, more often than not, end up editing them afterwards. But there is a link for you telling you how to make cinnamon extract, as well as other home remedies for disease/pest treatment!
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:46 PM
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After much searching I found a good cinnamon extract online and I don't think the shipping was too bad. Here is the link:


Pure Cinnamon Extract 4oz. - Cook Flavoring Company Cinnamon Flavor | Cook Flavoring Company

McCormick Schilling also produces a Cinnamon extract that I was able to order through our retail business.

Go get those nasty mealies!
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:33 PM
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for all chewing insects, i use a systemic insecticide....you can mix it with safer's insecticidal soap which makes a 'spreader/sticker' for the insecticide....this combo is fatal to your birdies however....and unpleasant in the house....one solution for this is to place the plants in a large, very large, plastic bag and spray.....you can do several at a time in the bag....treat them every week for 4 weeks, then monthly for 4 months....mealies are difficult to remove, so you have to be diligent.....gl
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dounoharm View Post
for all chewing insects, i use a systemic insecticide....you can mix it with safer's insecticidal soap which makes a 'spreader/sticker' for the insecticide....this combo is fatal to your birdies however....and unpleasant in the house....one solution for this is to place the plants in a large, very large, plastic bag and spray.....you can do several at a time in the bag....treat them every week for 4 weeks, then monthly for 4 months....mealies are difficult to remove, so you have to be diligent.....gl
Oh, thank you for the bag idea! I have been struggling with how to spray indoors during this oh-so-cold winter!
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:52 PM
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Great Information! When I re-pot and the roots are stuck to the side of the pot I toss the pot/plant in a bucket and let it soak for about 15 min. to loosen the roots off the side of the pot. I imagine you can make up whatever mixture you choose in a bucket and place your orchid in the bucket to throughly soak your medium. That way you would not have to re-pot, but your medium could get a nice soaking and kill whatever lurks beneath the surface.
Just an idea....good luck, with all this info I'm sure you will solve your problem soon. Stay warm! Nancy
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Old 02-18-2011, 01:54 PM
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Sys.

Can anyone recommend a good systemic insecticide? Thanks for the bag idea too. I might get desperate enough to do that.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nross View Post
Can anyone recommend a good systemic insecticide? Thanks for the bag idea too. I might get desperate enough to do that.
Bayer 3 and 1. It can be found at any Walmart, Home Depot or Lowes. I have never had to use a systemic on my orchids. Spider mites, mealies and aphids will require constant vigilance a more than one application to get rid of the little buggers.
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:58 PM
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Bayer Advanced Rose and Flower Spray. It comes pre-mixed and is great. Use it two or three times, seven days apart, even though it' a systemic.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:38 AM
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Thanks

That sounds great and easy to find - Bayer Rose Spray.
Prolonged use of the cinn. mix (which I'm going to make up today) with
alcohol added won't hard the leaves if I do it a number of times.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:58 PM
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War on Mealies

I did not get rid of the Mealies with cinnamon spray though I did it several times. I think because it spread to some of my big plants...a huge spath in
a wheeled pot etc. This plant really full of leaves and tried spraying tops and
bottoms and all over the plant stems. Too many places to hide I guess. Just
got the Bayer Rose and Flower spray which I read can be used on house plants. Did it once and will do it twice more. I see they also have systemic granules
and a concentrate. I wondered if this could be used, doesn't say houseplants.
I have lost several plants. I never had such an infectation in my life. Believe it
started with a big palm I got in Home depot a couple of years ago. First saw them when I pulled off that papery type covering on a stem.

Want to be sure to be rid of these monsters before I get any new plants.
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