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Bugs Bugs and more Bugs !

This is a discussion on Bugs Bugs and more Bugs ! within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Very helpful posts. Ichy things. Get a lot of bugs in Florida. What type of ...

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  1. #21
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    Very helpful posts. Ichy things. Get a lot of bugs in Florida.
    What type of soap would you add to Neem as a dispersant? A few drops of dishwashing soap? The bottle says 2T per gallon dillution. Would that be correct for orchids? And the biggie - how often would you treat the plant? Daily? Every few days until pest be gone?

    Next question: Do any of you regularly use an insecticidal soap or dilute solution of anything (insecticide or fungicide) for preventive protection? What and how often do you use it?
    Thanks for your help!
    Tmai

  2. #22
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    Neem is an oil, so you need to emulsify it in water (since you use so little of the oil in a quart sprayer.) Soap is dish washing soap, the liquid squirt bottle kind, and you only need like half to a tsp per quart. It only breaks the oil up evenly into the water, so the amount isn't critical. The oil is doing the bug-killing work.

    I spray as my pests suggest. I have few problems, but that's because I grow indoors. Outside, you're subject to the world! eeeh gads! If I have a plant with more than an occasional scale, I'll spray preventitively: every 4-5 days. That will catch any hatching babies you might have missed in the first pass. I only need to do that once or twice to get everything.

    But I'm inside in New England. Outdoor growers will have a stricter regime, I'm sure, and warmer climes will invite more beasties.

    Julie

  3. #23
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    Excellant post on different types of scale, Gin!

    Neem oil, particularly if used on outdoor plants will have to be reapplied after a good rain or the sprinklers have been on -- it will wash off. Otherwise you can reapply it once every 2 weeks if I'm recalling correctly. Being a natural oil it does break down.

    While its oil qualities can enable it to smother insects like scale, its other action is rather more insidious. The compounds in neem oil interfere with an insect's ability to molt properly as it goes from one instar to the next. There was an article I read sometime back -- can't remember the source so can't vouch for certain that the story is true but .... Someone supposedly did an experiment using a type of locust. In tank 1, a locust was given a plant treated with a system insecticide. The locust ate the plant and died. In tank 2, a locust was given a plant that had been sprayed w/ neem. The locust chose to starve to death rather than eat it.

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    That's really interesting, Pavel! And I do prefer choice number 2: if the critter's gonna die, do it without munching on my plants first!

    Julie

  5. #25
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    Thanks for the info. Recently had an attack of mealy bugs. The bigger ones kinda of look like little waddling tribbles, but not near as cute! Found them in my salvia and managed to get rid of them before they spread(fingers crossed)! Ended up beheading all my salvia and spraying with safer soap, then got the neem and used on everything nearby as preventative. Made the salvia unhappy for a little while but it was worth the sacrifice to get rid of the little nasties. So far - now two weeks from discovery and counter attack - no mealy bugs. Salvia is budding out again; think I'll spray the buds again just to be sure. Mus evil eye dem plants keepa way de 'tak bug!
    BTW, I second your post, Julie!
    Tmai

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    Typically when killing infestations you spray with whatever ever 5-7 days for a few weeks to make sure you get all the lifecycles of the critters present. Ie, Eggs, larvae, adult.

    What Pavel writes about the effect of neem oil would suggest that you don't need to worry about followup spraying for the next round of eggs hatching. But in my experience mostly with scale, some with mealies you do need to stay up with it. Either that, or mine washes off during watering I water overhead and the nasties move back in. They don't pop up immediately, but they will return if I relax my guard.

    Just a heads up that you can't trust the lil' bastards!

    Julie

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    I will keep an eye out (here we go with eyeballs again). Almost all of my plants are grown outside in pots, and winter in the garage (and during hurricanes). Have had very few pest problems generally; some scale or a few other critters here and there, mostly on the hibiscus. Got the little adult mealy buggers zapped and then the babies showed up . That's when I went on the salvia bud beheading spree about five days ago. So far so good but I don't plan on letting down my guard. Yick! Disgusting little fuzz balls.

    BTW, it says on the Neem bottle that it is also a fungicide. Pavel, great explaination of how it works on bugs, how does it work as a fungicide?

    Julie, my choice of pest for genocide would be spider mites. Look too much like little crabs (shudder, shudder).
    Tmai

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tmai
    Julie, my choice of pest for genocide would be spider mites. Look too much like little crabs (shudder, shudder).
    Tmai
    Then you'll have to find your own genocide scroll, Tmai! Mine when I find one is going to nuke the mealies!

    Julie

  9. #29
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    OK - mealies it is! I can live with that.

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    I haven't searched the dungeons lately, but there could be more than one scroll. He or she who finds it can choose the beastie that most stalks his or her dreams!

    Julie

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