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Infestation of mealbug

This is a discussion on Infestation of mealbug within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi there I found these horrible white fluffy insects on my orchid and went looking ...

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  1. #1
    mjd
    mjd is offline Junior Member
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    Default Infestation of mealbug

    Hi there
    I found these horrible white fluffy insects on my orchid and went looking for 71% rubbing alcohol. Could only find 91% (clean) and then the 70% rubbing alcohol but mixed with wintergreen.

    Would the wintergreen in the 70% rubbing alcohol harm or kill my orchids as i am not able to find the clean 70% and need to get these hairy bugs under control.

    Thank you in advance
    Janet
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  2. #2
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    sciencegal is offline Senior Member
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    I use the 91 percent diluted in half with water plus a small amount (1/2 tsp approx) of original blue Dawn dish soap. I keep a spray bottle of it handy at all times.
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  3. #3
    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    The wintergreen shouldn't be a problem for the plants, but I would look carefully at the label to see what if anything else has been added to such a product. The simplest thing would be to dilute the 91% stuff. Measure a volume of the 91% and add about 1/4 as much water to it. That puts it at 72-73%, close enough. The exact percentage isn't important, but the 91% may be a bit high. Sciencegal's addition of a surfactant (the Dawn) isn't a bad idea, it helps the mixture penetrate the waxy coating on the mealy bugs, but I would prefer to use a little insecticidal soap instead.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaphMadMan View Post
    Sciencegal's addition of a surfactant (the Dawn) isn't a bad idea, it helps the mixture penetrate the waxy coating on the mealy bugs, but I would prefer to use a little insecticidal soap instead.
    I just go for the cheapest stuff. The 50% dilution of the 91 percent works just fine. I pulled a phal out yesterday and saw a big fat mealy sitting right on the leaf. I spray her with my mixture and she immediately turned brown. I have also used this out in the garden for aphids. One year after a previous year's grasshopper plague (and that is putting it mildly) I had a severe aphid infestation in the garden. I could spray this stuff without concern and it got rid of the aphids. I also use it if the new puppy pees on the floor. It kills the odor so she won't be tempted to do it again in the same spot anyway.

  5. #5
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    JDT
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    I would agree with both Karin and Kirk, the handy spray bottle is a great idea you can pin point the spray to kill those devils!

  6. #6
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    Although be careful spraying on the blossoms or tender young spikes. The alcohol can dry them out and damage them. If the bugs are on the blossoms wash the spray off right after spraying. It will kill the mealies on contact so you don't have to leave it on.

  7. #7
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    One of the issues with mealy bug eradication is that it likes to populate the root systems, in addition to the vegetation. For reliable treatment, it is often necessary to get a commercial insecticide, and wet every bit of the plant surface AND saturate the potting medium, repeating at least three times at one-week intervals.

  8. #8
    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybark View Post
    One of the issues with mealy bug eradication is that it likes to populate the root systems, in addition to the vegetation. For reliable treatment, it is often necessary to get a commercial insecticide, and wet every bit of the plant surface AND saturate the potting medium, repeating at least three times at one-week intervals.
    Amen! For every mealy you see there may be 10 you don't.

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