hurray! I won the battle against mealie bugs

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smartie2000

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Yup, I think I can declare my war over with mealie bugs. I haven't seen any for weeks.:clap:

My solution was Acephate (also known as Orthene) found in Bonide Systematic Insect Control. I followed the bottles directions and applied it using as a spray. I think it is aborbed into the leaves of the plant and the bugs die went they suck the poison.

I hate the stuff, it smells like crap. It is a neurotoxin, and I do get a tingling feeling when I touch it. But it worked. Make sure that you don't inhale the spray and wear rubber gloves. Try to use a well ventilated area.
I think that I did three sprays. I hope that I won't need to spray again. I don't want to create more resistant bugs, before I run out of stuff to use!

I've also tried Merit (Imidacloprid), which is also a systematic. And my mealie bugs were resitant to them. However, Merit did work to kill all the scale in my isolated grocery store phals. Merit was expensive to buy too. I thought that it would work, but I had a mutated strain of the bug.:( Merit has worked for other people

I've also tried Safer's End All , which contains pyrethrins. This product is a contact poison, so it must touch the bugs. It is a safe product to use, but it didn't work on my mealies. Maybe because some were hiding in the medium or maybe they were also resistant. I am not sure.

Rubbing alcohol does kill the bugs immediately, but only if you can find them all!
 

Lanmark

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Yay! :D I hate the stuff too, but it works. I have used Acephate in combination with Imadicloprid to successfully eradicate both scale and mealies for good.
 

smartie2000

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Mealie bugs don't attack Phrags (hurray!) I barely needed to spray the Phrags.

But they do attack your expensive parvi paphs! That was disappointing. They like all sorts of paphs, but especially mottled leaved ones.
 

PaphMadMan

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Congratulations, but stay vigilant in the weeks and months ahead. I have learned from long experience that mealies can be invisible for long periods and suddenly flare up again across a whole collection. They had to have been there the whole time. Nothing works better than acephate. Don't be afraid to use it again at the first sign.
 

kentuckiense

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Mealie bugs don't attack Phrags (hurray!) I barely needed to spray the Phrags.

But they do attack your expensive parvi paphs! That was disappointing. They like all sorts of paphs, but especially mottled leaved ones.
I've noticed that exact same pattern with scale and spider mites. They chew the hell out of the parvis, but don't touch the Phrags.
 

Leo Schordje

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Something to consider should you ever encounter a resistant strain in the future, or even as a trick to limit how often you have to apply bug spray.

Enstar II is a juvenal growth hormone inhibitor. What most people don't realize is that it was never intended to be used alone in a spray. Its original formulation / design was to be used as an additive to your more conventional pesticide spray. It is compatible in solution with most other formulations. (do not mix the concentrates, only mix as needed in the water solution being made up for use that day) Every autumn I spray for mealies and mites. Usually 2 spplications about 10 days apart does the trick, and the collection normally stays bug free until the following summer, sometimes even longer. I personally use a 3 component solution of Mavrik, Enstar II and the old Pentac WP stock I am depleting. (you can't buy the old formulation of Pentac anymore) This is very effective. A 2 or 3 component system is more difficult for the bugs to develop resistance to. AND if you are successful at 100% wiping out of the current infestation, you won't have a problem with a resistant strain developing. Resistance only develops if you have a small residual population survive the spraying. The ones not killed then breed on. In our small collections it is possible to get a 100% kill, and then you have no resident population in which resistance can develop.

This idea of using a cocktail has been around a long time in professional circles. Mixing 2 different conventional pesticides can be tricky, consult professional sprayer guides to know what is a safe mix. But the addition of Enstar II was considered a breakthrough when it first came out because it could be safely added to almost all of the more common conventional pesticides in use.

For what it is worth, remember read labels and follow manufacturer suggestions for safe handling.
Hope this idea helps.
 
N

nikv

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I don't know if the war against mealies is every truly over. But congratulations on your victory!
 

smartie2000

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Hi Smartie, I would really be interested in knowing where it can be found in Canada.
Math
My Merit and Orthene were not from Canda. I did have to resort to importing it from a eBay seller. I don't like the idea, but was that desperate as it was out of control.
I did not see it in any retail shops in Canada that I know of. (so Joanne is probably right...but Canada does have its reasons to outlaw the household use of this stuff)

It is important to use pesticides properly to prevent the creation of resitant strains. This includes using a variety of pesticides that have different modes of action. Also it is important not to use a too weak solution of the chemical. And don't allow for any survivors...rubbing alcohol to kill the ones you see.

I did repotting and I did not find anything in the roots BTW.

I think that I am willing to send Merit to people in Canada that need help, I have way too much of it. A small amount of the powder mixes a lot of sprays/drenches. (I think I am willing...haha so much trouble)
But I don't want to deal with touching the Orthene and rebottling the liquid. People in Edmonton can take my bottle and promise to return it to me.
 

smartie2000

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Something to consider should you ever encounter a resistant strain in the future, or even as a trick to limit how often you have to apply bug spray.

Enstar II is a juvenal growth hormone inhibitor. What most people don't realize is that it was never intended to be used alone in a spray. Its original formulation / design was to be used as an additive to your more conventional pesticide spray. It is compatible in solution with most other formulations. (do not mix the concentrates, only mix as needed in the water solution being made up for use that day) Every autumn I spray for mealies and mites. Usually 2 spplications about 10 days apart does the trick, and the collection normally stays bug free until the following summer, sometimes even longer. I personally use a 3 component solution of Mavrik, Enstar II and the old Pentac WP stock I am depleting. (you can't buy the old formulation of Pentac anymore) This is very effective. A 2 or 3 component system is more difficult for the bugs to develop resistance to. AND if you are successful at 100% wiping out of the current infestation, you won't have a problem with a resistant strain developing. Resistance only develops if you have a small residual population survive the spraying. The ones not killed then breed on. In our small collections it is possible to get a 100% kill, and then you have no resident population in which resistance can develop.

This idea of using a cocktail has been around a long time in professional circles. Mixing 2 different conventional pesticides can be tricky, consult professional sprayer guides to know what is a safe mix. But the addition of Enstar II was considered a breakthrough when it first came out because it could be safely added to almost all of the more common conventional pesticides in use.

For what it is worth, remember read labels and follow manufacturer suggestions for safe handling.
Hope this idea helps.
Leo Schordje is right and provided excellent explanation.
Enstar II is good stuff I hear, but it is expensive!!
 

parvi_17

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Thanks for this info Fren. Personally I have been lucky to never have insects get out of control in my collection. I see the occasional scale and mealies, but my cheap insecticidal soap from Home Depot has aways done the trick so far. If I ever have any trouble, I'll be sure to seek this stuff out.
 

KyushuCalanthe

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Fren, congrats on winning the battle...the war will rage on though. I have problems each year for the simple reason that I grow outside for 6-7 months and there is all kinds of stuff out there - scale, thrips, spider mites, you name it. Just last year I was looking through my Cymbid collection and noticed one of my prize C. goeringii was loaded with scale. I saved the plant, but not before damage was done. Amazingly it flowered this year though.

Keep those eyes peeled for the enemy!
 

Lanmark

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I honestly believe I have permanently eradicated all scales and mealies from my collection. Now my plants stay sealed indoors under lights far away from any new chewing pests. No fresh fruit or vegetables get even remotely close to my plants. No new plants get anywhere near my established collection until long periods of quarantine (and sometimes even a series of preventative sprays) have proven no bugs exist on them. Like Leo, I advocate using a combination of two or three poisons in a mixed solution and then doing this for two or three consecutive applications 7 to 10 days apart. :)
 
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