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Yellow beetle damage to orchids

This is a discussion on Yellow beetle damage to orchids within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; One of the most dreaded of insect pests of orchids in tropical countries is the ...

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  1. #1
    catttan's Avatar
    catttan is offline Senior Member
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    Default Yellow beetle damage to orchids

    One of the most dreaded of insect pests of orchids in tropical countries is the yellow beetle Lema pectoralis.Insecticides don't seem to deter them - even if they die after eating the orchid flowers, the damage would already have been done to the blooms. They remind one of the Roman orgies, feasting and having unrestrained sex at the same time. They outdo the Romans by laying eggs too at the same time! After damage to your flowers they leave just enough for their voracious larvae that hatch after a few days. Their appetite is so insatiable that I believe they feed day and night. In less than a week a new generation of the blighters is ready to cause further havoc.The only way to control them is to catch them by hand while they're at it (i.e feasting and coupling) and squashing them or breaking off their heads (which - forgive me - gives me a certain satisfaction). Even catching them needs special skill because they don't take off into the air like any respectable insect but drop down like a stone into the grass or foliage beneath and just disappear.The trick is to touch them with the finger of one hand while holding the palm of the other hand just beneath them and hopefully they'll drop into your palm.Instead of using your palm you can hold a plastic bag below them.

    Forgive me if I seem to be raving and ranting like a demented person; the yellow beetle does that to you.

    Some of my catts are in bloom and I was ready to take a group photo of these but the yellow .......... has put paid to all that.

    Pix #1 & #2 Thwaitesara Sweet Treat - After & Before - minimal damage- Yellow Destroyer executed before too much damage. However mate escaped.

    Pix #3 Yellow Terror caught red-handed.Beheaded. Must be a bachelor.
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  2. #2
    catttan's Avatar
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    By the way the yellow beetle (not the VW) is feeding on my Aliceara Sunday Best 'Muffin'.

  3. #3
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    My sympathies on the insect damage!

    I just love the Thwaitesara Sweet Treat...will have to keep my eye open for that one!

    Kathi

  4. #4
    espranch is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Yew...Yes I can certainly tell that you are very upset! I would be too, it something had eaten MY beautiful orchid while also having sex & laying eggs. How DARE they!!! It does sound as if you've found the way to catch them, however. Good for you! I don't suppose that you can get your hands on any Cygon 2E...That would take those nasty beetles out with one spray, while not harming your orchids...Anyway, the orchid is still very lovely...Keep looking for the mate...Betty :-(

  5. #5
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    Thanks Betty. Will certainly look for Cygon2E. If it is available in the US It should be available here. Our laws are not as stringent as those in your country regarding pesticides.

  6. #6
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    hi yew, i can relate to that problem, and a usual cockroach/mosquito spray does the job. just a short lil spray would do and doesnt harm the plants. only 1 time i damaged new cattleya buds, only coz i sprayed like crazy on a short distance, but learned my lesson.

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    Yew you can try any neem based pesticide . it will not harm your plants .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by walingwaling View Post
    hi yew, i can relate to that problem, and a usual cockroach/mosquito spray does the job. just a short lil spray would do and doesnt harm the plants. only 1 time i damaged new cattleya buds, only coz i sprayed like crazy on a short distance, but learned my lesson.
    Thanks Ron.Your suggestion seems the most practical for me. I'm going to get the most lethal,( but approved for household use ) mossie/cockcroach spray(Class3), manufactured by Bayer. Incidentally we carry this same insect aerosol spray every we go into the jungle . By spraying onto your boots/socks and parts of your clothes you will keep away the dreaded leeches. Whenever we put up camp for the night we spray the area around our tents to keep away creepy crawlies and snakes.

    @Betty, I googled and found that Cygon 2E contains dimethoate, a systemic insecticide and is not freely available as a result, in Malaysia.

    Thanks Deepak for suggesting Neem. Will also give it a try.

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