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My Phal has BUGS.. Help please

This is a discussion on My Phal has BUGS.. Help please within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Originally Posted by orchidlady Correct, you don't want to rinse it off. I would spray ...

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  1. #21
    eaglssong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orchidlady View Post
    Correct, you don't want to rinse it off. I would spray everything. Mealies like to hide in all the nooks and cranies. Also check the base of the plant. One of their favorite tricks is hiding below the surface of the medium where they are not easily seen.

    Susan
    Oh boy. This is really getting complicated. LOL I never repotted this phal when I got it (it was my very first orchid), and now I'm wondering if it hasn't had the problem all along, and it's just showing up now. Especially if there might be some (or many) in the medium. I guess it's time to repot, huh? I didn't find any mealies on the leaves, so I'm hoping the medium isn't infested too, although obviously, they had to come from somewhere, and they don't have wings.

  2. #22
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    if you have not already re-potted this phal, it is a good idea to do so. With mealy bugs, you do not want to leave any survivors. They are really hard to control once they get a foothold, so don't allow them to do so.

    Avoid the cig butts thing. That can only lead to bad things. Plus, who wants to see cig butts in their orchid pot. Treat with a sunoil or neem oil (insecticidal spray) once every seven days for three or four weeks. This should get rid of the little buggers. Those close up photos are spooky! There are so many of those guys inside that bloom. Glad you gave them a taste of the rubbing alcohol.

    Good luck to you!

    Cheers,
    BD

  3. #23
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    Anne, have you seen:
    Insect and Arthropod Pest Identi
    scroll down to mealybugs. You can save the orchid by being careful to destroy the the very tiny crawlers hatching from eggs. That is why Bruce recommends repotting, rinsing the roots and the three week pesticide treatment. Also, female mealybugs cannot fly, so keep the infected plant from touching other plants.

  4. #24
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    Thanks Joe,

    I have the plant totally isolated from my others, and so far the others look okay. I'm keeping a close eye on this one until I can get to the store to get some supplies, and then it will be repotted. So far, she's looking okay today. I have become paranoid about any sort of spots I see now. LOL

  5. #25
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    I thought the problem was under control, but I keep finding more of the beasties. Granted, nothing nearly as bad as before, but I want them all el muerte!! I hate bugs, even the microscopic type.

    So, please forgive all my questions, but since I don't have any extra pots in the house, can anyone tell me how long it would be safe to keep the phal out of her medium and pot? I would like to clean out her existing pot and sterilize it. Is bleach the correct thing to use? I'm thinking I would also run it through the dishwasher to make sure it's totally clean.

    My concern is that the phal would be bare for hours, and I'm not sure that would be good for her. Also, when I'm going to repot her, should I give her roots a bath in bleach, or bleach and water?

    She's such a fighter, and so beautiful, that I refuse to give up on her. With all this treatment (I gave her more of the Neem Oil/water/dish detergent spray today), she's still standing tall and proud.

    I just feel so dumb about how to handle this, but thanks to you guys, I'm learning. From now on, any new orchids will be totally isolated for awhile, and all of them will be repotted immediately (mental note to self; Self, get supplies).

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  6. #26
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    With my last mealie bug infestation on a paph (in bloom) I used rubbing alcohol in spray form and q-tips. It took awhile, but the plant is now bug free (several weeks or over a month now, so I believe I won). But, you MUST keep doing it - there are usually plenty you can't see. I did a very thorough job of spraying the plant and the spike (though not the flower itself, but if there are lots of bugs there, I would - rather lose a flower than deal with a larger infestation!).

    I sprayed every day at the beginning and any time I saw something - check everywhere! - and when I started seeing less, I only sprayed the occasional bug for a week or two, though I check quite regularly still. Don't want to let them get a foothold again right when you are winning. If you don't keep at it, the little ones will become big and everything will continue. Perseverance can beat them though.

    I never repotted actually, though I would have considered it if things had gotten worse instead of better. But I had had the plant for years, so was quite sure it was a new nuisance.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcubed View Post
    With my last mealie bug infestation on a paph (in bloom) I used rubbing alcohol in spray form and q-tips. It took awhile, but the plant is now bug free (several weeks or over a month now, so I believe I won). But, you MUST keep doing it - there are usually plenty you can't see. I did a very thorough job of spraying the plant and the spike (though not the flower itself, but if there are lots of bugs there, I would - rather lose a flower than deal with a larger infestation!).

    I sprayed every day at the beginning and any time I saw something - check everywhere! - and when I started seeing less, I only sprayed the occasional bug for a week or two, though I check quite regularly still. Don't want to let them get a foothold again right when you are winning. If you don't keep at it, the little ones will become big and everything will continue. Perseverance can beat them though.

    I never repotted actually, though I would have considered it if things had gotten worse instead of better. But I had had the plant for years, so was quite sure it was a new nuisance.
    Thank you so much for that reply. I've been using so much alcohol on the poor thing, that I'm sure it must be pretty well soused. LOL Compared to a few days ago, what I'm finding is minor. I am keeping at it though, because I want them gone!! I'm pretty sure at this point, that whatever has escaeped so far, is hidden in the lip (and behind the column... at least I think that's the anatomy), which is why they've been so hard to get at. I hadn't thought to spray the alcohol, but that's probably a good idea.

  8. #28
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    anne, Your pretty phal does not NEED to be ian a pot. Remember, in nature, it just hangs on to a tree trunk upside down. As long as you give the roots a short soak once a day, you wouldn't have to ever put it back in a pot. If you wish to soak his roots, I would suggest hydrogen peroxide, not bleach. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down to water and oxygen, lord only knows what bleach will break down! Disinfecting the pot, running it through the dishwasher, both good ideas. Do all that, repot if you wish, keep him happily soused for a couple of weeks and this should all soon be a memory!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindiras View Post
    anne, Your pretty phal does not NEED to be ian a pot. Remember, in nature, it just hangs on to a tree trunk upside down. As long as you give the roots a short soak once a day, you wouldn't have to ever put it back in a pot. If you wish to soak his roots, I would suggest hydrogen peroxide, not bleach. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down to water and oxygen, lord only knows what bleach will break down! Disinfecting the pot, running it through the dishwasher, both good ideas. Do all that, repot if you wish, keep him happily soused for a couple of weeks and this should all soon be a memory!
    I remember years ago my dad dumped bleach on some poison ivy. As I remember, it killed the ivy, but also a lily of my mom's that was near by.

    Also, I've read that some people like to let their orchids sit at least overnight before putting them back in a pot believing it gives roots that were cut or damaged by taking it out of the pot a chance to recover a little before going into the new medium.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindiras View Post
    anne, Your pretty phal does not NEED to be ian a pot. Remember, in nature, it just hangs on to a tree trunk upside down. As long as you give the roots a short soak once a day, you wouldn't have to ever put it back in a pot. If you wish to soak his roots, I would suggest hydrogen peroxide, not bleach. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down to water and oxygen, lord only knows what bleach will break down! Disinfecting the pot, running it through the dishwasher, both good ideas. Do all that, repot if you wish, keep him happily soused for a couple of weeks and this should all soon be a memory!
    Quote Originally Posted by ang709 View Post
    I remember years ago my dad dumped bleach on some poison ivy. As I remember, it killed the ivy, but also a lily of my mom's that was near by.
    Okay.. no bleach for my baby. Tomorrow I will pick up some Hydrogen Peroxide and get to work. And my baby thanks you all for caring for her as I do. She may never be a showgirl, but I still think she's beautiful.

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