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  • 2 Post By Catt Mandu

Mealybugs and scale

This is a discussion on Mealybugs and scale within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; So, it seems I have a Cymbidium with mealybug and a Phal with scale. They ...

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  1. #1
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
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    Default Mealybugs and scale

    So, it seems I have a Cymbidium with mealybug and a Phal with scale. They are both separately quaranteened, so hopefully the problems will stay with them.

    The Cymbidium is loaded with mealybugs and I find that I keep forgetting to take the alcohol to it often enough to really clear it out. Besides which its difficult to really clean it out. Is there something I can spray it with that will do the job? I know I'd have to do that on a schedule to get the young ones as they hatch, but I don't think I'm going to be able to keep up with cleaning it by hand and doubt I can do a good enough job to make it worthwhile. Or should I just toss it? It was an inexpensive buy, I don't have a name on it and probably won't be able to bloom it. What do you all think?

    The Phal doesn't seem badly infested, but I'm open to suggestions as to the best thing to use on it. I've been cleaning it by hand too with alcohol. Should I just step that up? It's a noid that I got really cheap and have no idea of the color or name, but I'd like to save it, its in great shape other than the scale, which doesn't seem to bother it, but I sure don't want that to spread either.

  2. #2
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    kspalding is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    After you clean it by hand are you also changing the soil? Also, for scales triple check the roots for shells as well since these types of pests are drawn to new growth which can include new rooting. Mealies are also attracted to new growth but tend to shake off the roots when the plant is uprooted. Cyms have alot of nooks and crannies In the leaves which can make these a little more complicated to hand clean. If you have a good area of air circulation where the plant can dry out I would reccommend soaking your plant in warm soapy water in order to get into the crevices but again ONLY if you have a way to dry them out afterward. Soak about 2-3 minutes. The ones that dont drown will move their way up the leaves to get out of the water where you would be able to better see them to remove them. They are slow movers so give this some time. Make sure to dry the plant completely to avoid rot.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks, soaking would be easy here, we have very little humidity. I was told cymbidiums hate to be repotted, but I suspect that won't matter if the mealies kill it. As long as I soak in the morning, it would be fine by evening. Should I leave it unpotted until I get rid of the mealies? I could soak the roots to water every couple of days. I have a feeling we are talking at least 2 - 3 sessions to kill the new mealybugs.

  4. #4
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    How many times to repeat will honestly depend on how bad it has gotten. I recommend just try once for now and see how it looks first. The only point of the soaking is to drown what you can and chase the others out of the deeper crevices of the leaves where they are harder to see. Wind or another air source is going to be really important since water can also hide in these crevices. I would hang the plant upside down a few minutes to let excess water drip out. If you want to leave out of the soil so that you don't keep wasting soil that should be fine. As you know it should remain in isolation for at least a month after treatment for observation.

  5. #5
    Chas t is offline Junior Member
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    I use a 50/50 mix of Isopropyl Alchol and water ad spray my plants with mature mealys. And spray weekly with neem oil according to directions to smother any eggs. Keep and eye out for ants which like to carry aphids and mealy around to different plants so they can farm them for the honey dew. I use Terro and or Hot Shot Clear Roach and Ant Gel Bait wherever I see ants.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Carolla's Avatar
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    Default

    I think I'm going to have to trim back a good part of the plant because of damage. It does have one really healthy new pbulb since I started using alcohol on it, the rest of the plant is pretty sad.

  7. #7
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    New growth is always good growth. Look closely at new leaves. They will tend to grow with a twisted tip if its being targeted by the pests.

  8. #8
    Catt Mandu's Avatar
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    Default

    In my experience, for scale and mealies, the only thing that works, long term, is a good systemic insecticide.

    You should consider treating all your plants with a systemic spray. Bayer Rose & Flower is a good one. The active ingredient, imidacloprid, is very insect-specific (the concentration of imidacloprid in Bayer R&F is 0.015%, but the same chemical is at a conentration of 9.1% in Advantage II flea treatment applied directly to a dog's skin). For the infested Cym & Phal, get rid of all old medium first, spray the roots, leaves, etc before repotting. Repeat at the interval recommended on the package for at least 6 weeks.
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