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Scale insects and those white fluffy things - any natural repellants or controls?

This is a discussion on Scale insects and those white fluffy things - any natural repellants or controls? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Has anyone had success using natural or semi-natural sprays or soaks to eliminate scale insects? ...

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  1. #1
    Delila is offline Member
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    Default Scale insects and those white fluffy things - any natural repellants or controls?

    Has anyone had success using natural or semi-natural sprays or soaks to eliminate scale insects?

    Everything I've read so far is that some pretty mean agri chemicals are required to get rid of them. But usually, eventually, this kind of thing turns out to be not true, and someone finds an essential oil (or whatever) that kills the pest or scares them off. So, anything work for scale???

    I ask because this year I have the worst infestation of scale I've ever seen. It's all over the garden, including some potentially lethal infestations on orchids. It's even on my carnivorous plants for bleep's sake! Dousing the whole place in extremely toxic chemicals is not an option.

  2. #2
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
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    I can't speak of scale but the white fluffy things sounds like mealy bugs.

    I use 70% isopropyl alcohol and a few drops of dish liquid mixed in, sprayed on them. I use it straight. Others dilute it. I think mealy bugs have a 5 day incubation period. When mealy's get soaked by the alcohol, you can see them change color from white. I believe that means curtains for that bug.

  3. #3
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    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    The ones you can see, I use rubbing alcohol soaked q-tips to pick them off. As soon as the alcohol hits them they change color. The rest I get by soaking with a spray of rubbing alcohol and dish soap as mentioned above, but I use a little more soap. I use wooden toothpicks to get the last of them out of leaf and p-bulb nooks and crannys too narrow for the q-tip. When a plant is very infested I leave the mixture on with the plant in a shady corner and re-spray every 4-5 days until I don't see little white specks anymore.

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    Delila is offline Member
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    I've seen a few references to alcohol but have never tried it on a plant myself. Does it not harm the leaves or roots?

  5. #5
    78Terp's Avatar
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    It could help dehydrate the leaves a bit but otherwise , no, I haven't had any damage to the plants. I try to not spray buds or flowers but will if I find any evidence of mealy's on them. Mealy's do love both buds and flowers, so check them back and front for them.

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