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What pest is eating new growth? Need quick help!

This is a discussion on What pest is eating new growth? Need quick help! within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; New growth on my phals is being eaten by some pest. I found the first ...

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  1. #1
    Orkidea's Avatar
    Orkidea is offline Member
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    Default What pest is eating new growth? Need quick help!

    New growth on my phals is being eaten by some pest. I found the first bite marks two days ago. Literally chunks are missing of a brand-new leaf, flower stem and the column of a blooming flower. I have not seen the culprit yet. What ever it is, it has an appetite for tender new growth. My plants are inside the house and we haven't had the windows open as it is early spring. I'm desperate for help as I don't want to lose the flowerstem, which is well on its way. Thanks in advance!!

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  2. #2
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    I have the same problem at the moment, essentially on Phals. Bug ?
    I need to go in the green house at night to catch this damned eater !

  3. #3
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    I'm not postive...but i'm guessing you have some snails in there. I put pennies on top of the medium...the next day or two there should be little piles of goo with two little black dots that used to be eyes. The copper kills them.

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    For me, it's not snail. No slime (? is it correct ?) traces.

  5. #5
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    There could be a fare few culprits responsible for dining on your phal.
    The first is slugs and snails, these can possibly be very small even from this years eggs. Have noticed a small number over time and can be easily missed and overlooked. Put some orange peel or very ripe fruit on top of pot media (bark I assume). Keep the bait on an object of some sought so that fruit is not directly in contact with plant media or roots. or

    take a small object like a bottle cap and fill with beer/lager. Put on media surface. (also acts as bait but the slug/snail drowns)

    Vine weevil. Adult beetles tend to nibble on leaves, but more trouble are grub larvae that eat roots, bulbs etc. Check in media for a cream coloured 1cm - 1.5cm grub.

    Butterfly/ moth larvae ( caterpillar)

    Crickets/ grasshoppers.

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    Outside, I have trouble with grasshoppers. Just taking a bite here and a bite there. If they are inside, and not a screened porch area, I'm at a lost. It look like a pretty good bite not a chewed area. Any roach like bugs there?
    Last edited by ctb; October 1st, 2011 at 07:57 PM.

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    Last year,my phals took a beating from grasshoppers...and the bites were large, just like these look. Something (insect) with a big mouth /appetite is munching on your orchid. I waited, watched and caught a few medium & large grasshoppers. I introduced them to GOD...I hope you catch whatever is doing that damage...Good Luck...Betty

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    I agree with Matt, could be due to snail, slugs, beetle and grasshoppers, use your effort to catch them do accordingly.

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    Thank you guys! I'll put all of them in the pot, pennies, beer and a slice of orange!!! I'm going to get that beast! The pest is doing its deed at night. I'll report back what I find.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orkidea View Post
    Thank you guys! I'll put all of them in the pot, pennies, beer and a slice of orange!!! I'm going to get that beast! The pest is doing its deed at night. I'll report back what I find.
    I just lost a beautiful paph that had been indoors from the very beginning from what I believe to have been small black beetles feasting on all new growths and pretty much severing the plant at the base - so I sympathize! I got some very good general advice about pest and fungus control from Dorsetman - he is a repository of endless solutions. Basically, I blitzed the plant with insecticides, fungicides and you name it - then I did the same with all my other paphs and any plants that had been near it. Dorsetman recommended a weak addition of fungicide/insecticide each time you water (that's what he does) - an ounce of prevention, you know!

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