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Old 12-11-2009, 02:53 AM
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Scale

I've found a couple of spots of scale on my noid oncidium.
Thing is that they disintegrated when I went to take them off (ie;they offered no resistance) so may be an old infestation as I've only had it a couple of months.
The plant continues to look healthy, producing lots of flowers & new pseudobulbs.
As a temporary measure I've wiped the affected leaves with olive oil.
I'm not a fanatic about being organic, but in my work I'm exposed to mild chemicals & am aware of the damage that this does. So all advice welcome, especially a non chemical solution.
Thanks in advance.

Last edited by meanie; 12-11-2009 at 02:54 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:33 AM
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Pest Oil is pretty harmless stuff, and will put a layer of oil on the scale. They cant breathe and die. Not sure if you can get that stuff there but you should be able to.
Once applied the scale will stay on but change color going more towards translucent. They are dead at that stage.

Other options are isopropyl sold in Australia as isocol and other places as rubbing alcohol.
With that stuff you have to apply direct to each scale so you could miss one. This stuff is designed to apply to the face after a shave so I would hope it is pretty safe.
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:36 AM
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Be careful with DIY plant-based oil remedies. If used at too high a concentration they can easily clog the stomata. I've seen Dendrobiums (fortunately not mine) suffer severe defoliation after being sprayed with home made vegetable oil preps. Eco oil (canola based) works well used as per the label. Pest oil, which Plucker mentioned, is a refined form of white oil. The particle size is finer than white oil so it is less likely to clog the stomata.
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:25 AM
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I tried a bit of that white oil years ago and it took out a den. Others struggled for a while, but pest oil has never caused me any problems.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:05 AM
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Meanie, when I used to grow inside, and didn't want to spray chemicals, I used rubbing alcohol. And would use a Q-tip dipped in the IPA to remove any that I saw, and then did an overall light spray on the plant to catch any crawlers. Repeating every few days until I was sure they were gone.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:38 AM
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Soapy water will kill scale-- water with some dishwashing detergent in it to the point where the water feels slick. Spray then wipe, the scale come right off. The soap dissolves the exoskeleton and they drown.

Safer's Insecticidal soap is also good.

I agree with the others-- oils that are not horticultural grade can be harmful.

Scale accumulate and thrive, and are very hard to see, on the spikes of oncids. Be sure to examine any spikes closely-- you could have a scale factory there without knowing it.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:17 PM
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Brookn's recipe works well, too. Some people add a bit of alcohol to the mix, also. Like Mehitabel said, you really have to keep looking, wiping, and spraying to get the little devils off. I have one miltonidium that always seems to have a couple no matter what I do, but it is one of my strongest bloomers anyway. Here's the link to the recipe, which is in a sticky at the top of this page. It is in message #3.
http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/orc...tuff-ever.html
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:58 PM
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Thanks for your replies.
Rest assured, I only wiped the leaves that were affected.
Am I correct in assuming that the shell is just a bug factory? It seemed very soft.
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:09 PM
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Does anyone know where to get cinnamon extract? Can you make it from ground cinnamon?
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:13 PM
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You can koshki...there's a recipe here on the forum somewhere, called "the best stuff ever" If we both search the forum for it one of us is bound to find it. I think itmight even be in a sticky thread.
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:14 PM
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Here it is! http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/orc...tuff-ever.html
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:15 PM
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Actually, the cinnamon extract is used in Brooke's recipe, but that's what I can't find.

Unless I'm misunderstanding the recipe...that it makes cinnamon extract??
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:39 PM
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1tsp Murphy's Oil Soap and 1tsp Rubbing Alcohol in a spray bottle of water.
The only plants in my garden I can't use it on is nasturtiums (it kills the leaves).
Good news is it will kill any soft-bodied insect and slugs and snails.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:45 PM
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Well, I used the word "scale factory", and I don't mean one scale by that. I mean a hidey-hole like a node covering, or a deep crack where a leaf attaches to a stem, sometimes it's inside the pot, or under a leaf.

It's a place where there are lots of scale, busy reproducing a million a day, and protected from being seen and from sprays getting at them.

You can kill all the scale you see, and spray the plant over and over, and if there's a scale factory somewhere, they just keep coming back and back and back. That's when you need a systemic pesticide -- one that doesn't kill on contact, but is absorbed by the plant and kills the pests as they feed on the plant.

It also would require drenching the pot with the systemic, because there can be at least some in the pot-- an ideal place for a scale factory.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:42 PM
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Katherine, the cinnamon extract is usually available in the cooking isle of large supermarkets. I have found it at Wallmart and at Safeway.

You can make a substitute with powdered cinnamon and boiling water, and some people have done that (I think 1 tsp to 1 cup water, boil for a bit then strain). If you search the forum for Cinnamon extract you can probably find the thread with the correct instructions.

That thread does give you a way of making the extract, but it takes months - Vodka and cinnamon and wait.......
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:36 AM
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Any oil should be diluted- pure oil will kill the leaves. I use hort oil or neem at 2 Tbsp/G, and have had no ill effects in over five years (paphs, catts, oncids, brassias, dens...) You can make your own oil sprays, but they're difficult as you have to emulsify the mix (lecithin, soap both work).
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:45 AM
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I've bought the cinnamon extract from super Target.
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