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  • 1 Post By Desdinova
  • 1 Post By pavel

Bugs in quarantine window?

This is a discussion on Bugs in quarantine window? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; ...

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  1. #1
    Xara's Avatar
    Xara is offline Senior Member
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    Default Bugs in quarantine window?

    I have a window where the five Phals were infected by a bug, that I don't know the English name for ("ullöss" in Swedish), this summer. The female bugs make small cotton-like discharges (?) on the leaves, preferably on the underside or between the stem and the leaves. The males are supposedly just flying around looking like miniature flies, but I haven't seen any of those. Anyone who recognizes this bug?

    Anyhow, I've treated the plants quite vigourously for about a month and during the last two weeks I haven't found any new bugs (I check every plant twice daily). I removed the visible bugs with a mixture of etanol and soap and drenched the whole plant in (colza-oil? rapeseed oil? Another language problem for me.) several times. Since I have both small children and cats at home, I don't want to use systemic treatments.

    The plants don't seem to have minded this rough treatment: they are very shiny from all the oil ;-) and there are flowers and new stalks coming on most of them. But I'm wondering, IF I have managed to get rid of the bug, how long do I keep this window in quarantine?

  2. #2
    Desdinova is offline Senior Member
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    I looked up the term that you so kindly gave me, and sure enough, your culprit is mealybugs, a soft bodied sucking insect related to scale. Since you prefer to stay away from systemic insecticides, what you're using works fine. I have never noticed any difference between the males and females. I do know that the larvae are microscopic in size and very mobile.

    Since you haven't seen any new ones in two weeks, I would say that they are likely clean, but keep an eye on them in the meantime. It's just a standard procedure to keep watch on your plants so creepy crawlies don't make your plants their home while you're not looking.

    Other non-chemical methods to consider: neem oil and diatomaceous earth.

  3. #3
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    coeruleo is offline Night Bloomer
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    Default

    sound like mealybugs.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for your input and the name of the bug: that helped a lot! I've read up now, and the larvae (very mobile as you said, Desdinova!) can take up to 8 weeks to develop into full-grown bugs. Both females and larvae can take residence among the roots and only move up along stems/leaves (preferably at nighttime) at occasion.

    Well, I'll start with a 16 week quarantine. Or rather: during the rest of the year my five pretty small Phals will continue to live together with my 7 year old son and all his stufff... ;-)!

    Thank you again for your help!

  5. #5
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    I would plan on keeping them in quarantine for at least another couple weeks ... perhaps a month. I would also consider giving them another "colza/rapeseed oil drenching" treatment as the eggs of many such insects can take about two weeks to hatch. Treating once more would increase the odds of wiping out any hatchlings.

  6. #6
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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavel View Post
    I would plan on keeping them in quarantine for at least another couple weeks ... perhaps a month. I would also consider giving them another "colza/rapeseed oil drenching" treatment as the eggs of many such insects can take about two weeks to hatch. Treating once more would increase the odds of wiping out any hatchlings.
    I agree.

    cheers,
    BD

  7. #7
    stefpix is offline Senior Member
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    What about also soaking once a week in a bucket with castille soap (vegetable oils soap)? and spray / mist woth a mix of alcohol and water. If larvae live in the roots i would soak in a bucket with soap.,

  8. #8
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    Today I've celebrated three bugfree weeks with cleaning plants and roots under running water, immersing them in rapeseed oil and repotting them. (This after 11h at work, soccer traing with my son, fixing dinner, putting both kids to bed and watering the whole orchid collection including my new cultivation cabinet: it's a good thing there is never anything on TV!! But now it's Good Night from me...)

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