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This is a discussion on My First Infestation (I think) within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi, Can anyone tell me what this is and how to get rid of it? ...
Can anyone tell me what this is and how to get rid of it? I'm afraid that I might already know that answer but just wanted to confirm. I just hope it doesn't start with and M. It's just the single leaf (bottom) that has these little white dots on it (and maybe 1 or 2 dots on one of the p-bulbs).
Rotten scale I use a systemic but do not grow in the house with kids or pets around . most of the sprays will kill them Neem Safers and Bayer, problem is they hide under any covering on the P bulbs even under the mix on the plant , between leaves . I reieved plants several years ago that had scale after fighting them for weeks I finally mixed up Malathion with soap in a bucket and used a tooth brush , have to stay after them no matter what you use, some people spray with rubbing alcohol or the brown Listerine problem is miss one and they are back . Take no prisoners . Gin
The white fluffy ones are either mealybugs or soft scale.
The yellow/tan round ones look like the armor of hard scale.
You can remove the immediate infestation of soft scale by giving the plant a good shower with moderate water current. A garden hose with an adjustable nozzle would work best so you can adjust the velocity and size of the cone.
Make sure you wash the plant away from any other plants to prevent the insects from being splashed into the other plants. Washing it over a sink or a garden drain would be best since the insects will be flushed down the sewer and have little chance of climbing back out. (Wash it over the neighbor's fence if you have to )
After that, you will need to perform the standard routines to eliminate the armored scale and any eggs that the soft/hard scales may have deposited in the plant and potting mix.
1. Insecticidal soap/horticultural soap/home made brew (Spray entire plant) and let it soak into the potting mix.
2. Neem Oil - again spray the whole plant and let it soak into the potting mix.
3. If you can repot and use fresh mix, that would eliminate the need to sanitize the old potting mix and you get rid of any eggs that would have been hiding there.
Another option would be a systemic insecticide - but I personally try to avoid any poisons in the garden since I have a toddler who always follows me around the GH touching everything.
Ah drat! I hate it when you discover something like that. As identified above, you clearly have some scale--the little turtle shells. The white fuzzies, I can't tell if they are soft scale or mealy bugs. Eitherway -- you need to treat the plant, including all the little nooks and crannies, and the potting media. (Sadly this isn't the fun part of orchid growing---sigh!)
Good luck. Take no prisoners. If you use a non-systemic pesticide, be sure to treat it and then treat again at least once more 5-7 days later, just to get them all.
The "S" word can be just as bad as the "M" word. Don't wait. Take immediate action.
Well on a lighter note ... you are really an orchid grower now.