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  • 1 Post By Halloamey
  • 1 Post By Brutal_Dreamer

HELP!!!!! Paphiopedilum - Mealybugs!!!!! (I think)

This is a discussion on HELP!!!!! Paphiopedilum - Mealybugs!!!!! (I think) within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; This is Paph. Odette's Glory x Paph Wizardry - my only paph in bud right ...

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  1. #1
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    Default HELP!!!!! Paphiopedilum - Mealybugs!!!!! (I think)

    This is Paph. Odette's Glory x Paph Wizardry - my only paph in bud right now and it's been in quarantine since I got it home several months ago when I noticed that the tiny spike seemed to have a little speck of white cotton on it. I sprayed it with water and alcoholed it and thought I'd gotten the buggers. As it grew, however, I noticed more woolly stuff in the bract, so I again washed it, and used triazicide (a pretty strong insecticide) on it, which made me nervous about damage to the bud, but I was furious about the recurrence of the bugs.

    I really thought the bugs were gone, until the bud started to open a few days ago - and - more cottony stuff! Again, I drenched it and triazicided it. I could tell that the bud was unusually small, but it's still a pretty color and shape - a very deep burgundy - so I hate to see it so badly under attack.

    Anyway, today I checked it again and NOW the bugs are spreading underneath the dorsal. It makes me just sick to see it and I'm at my wits end with this. Here is a photo I took this morning, showing the problem as best I can.

    Name:  Odette mealies.jpg
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    Does anyone have any ideas about what I can do before I have to just consign it to the trash???

    I'm a little nervous about using alcohol on the actual bloom, but perhaps that would work.

    Thanks, y'all.




  2. #2
    Halloamey's Avatar
    Halloamey is offline Senior Member
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    Yup they are the dreaded mealy bugs. Wiping with 50% rubbing alcohol should get rid of them. When I have difficult to reach spots with such pests, I use a fine painting brush, dip it in the alcohol mixture and then carefully apply only to the affected area. It gives you the 'reach' which a plain cotton ball cannot. You can also use a cotton ear swabs to do the same.
    On another note, if there are so many mealy bugs on the newly opened flower, there must be many already on the plant. Give it a good check and may be spray it with a systemic like confidor.

  3. #3
    Halloamey's Avatar
    Halloamey is offline Senior Member
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    One problem with mealy bugs is that they have a waxy coating on their bodies so a simple water soluble insecticide will simply not stick to them and thus will not kill them due to insufficient contact. You need a wetting agent in the insecticide, something that will make the insecticide stick to their bodies. Soap will do that. Confidor has 2% sucrose (table sugar) which does the same sticks the insecticide to the plant and the insect for a longer period of time.

  4. #4
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks, Amey! I will take your advice and go after them again. Since I have almost never had insects on my orchids, this is really traumatizing me, so I really appreciate your help. I have tons of fine paintbrushes, and I'll start with the alcohol. The plant itself, strangely enough, has no signs of them whatsoever, but I know they can thrive in the soil, so I'll also use a systemic.

  5. #5
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Maura, I am probably a little extreme, but I wish I would have been more extreme when I first noticed some scale on my cattleya orchids. If I knew then what I know now, I would have doused and scrubbed every inch of the infrected plant. Not doing so allowed those bugs to get a foot-hold in my collection and I have lost many cattleya orchids since. I still find them on smaller, sickly plants ever once in awhile. My advice is to cut this spike off and unpot the plant. Clean the plant well and repot in completely new medium and a new or sterilized pot. Take no chances and leave no prisoners.

    cheers,
    BD

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