Mealy bugs, should I be more aggressive at this stage?

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JawDroppingSlippers

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It’s been 3 months now since I started my small paph collection and I found my first mealy bug behind a bud on a Tomiko Moon that was three weeks ago. I used 70% alcohol on a swab to take it out (photo was taken a day after removal) and swabbed a few more areas that appeared to have fuzz. Two days later I sprayed the whole plant with 50% alcohol, spray bottle form that i found on Amazon. Top sprayed the media too. After reviewing a more recent thread on this forum (Cochineal on my haynaldianum ...please help) and reading the horror stories of infestation, I’m thinking of repotting the plant in S/H, something I was going to due anyway but after it bloomed.
**Should I go ahead now and risk plant shock and losing the bud? It appears to be a healthy plant with two newer leaf grows but I don’t know what’s underneath. I do also have 70% alcohol, Dr Bonners soap, and Azamax on hand.
**Also I had noticed some white residue on the leaves when I received the plant. Was that an indication it was previously treated?
Thank you in advance for your expert advice.
kathy
 

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Tom499

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Just going by the first photo, first thing I would do is move the plant far away from any others. Second would be to inspect closely all your other plants.
 

Ray

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Kathy,

Your topical treatments with alcohol and soap is simply inadequate. Mealy bugs live in the potting medium as well as on the foliage. Go with the Azamax, wetting all exposed plant surfaces AND drenching the potting medium. Azamax is unusual, in that is does affect adults, juveniles and eggs (most insecticides only affect adults), but it would probably be wise to retreat in a week, to be safe.

Thes best time to do any repot when changing the pot conditions as drastically as it is going to S/H culture, is just as new roots are emerging from the base of the plant. Slippers, in my experience, are much more forgiving than other plants, but between the bugs and the treatment, unless the current medium is in sorry shape, I’d pamper the thing in its current pot, enjoy the flower, and wait for that new growth.
 

JawDroppingSlippers

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Kathy,

Your topical treatments with alcohol and soap is simply inadequate. Mealy bugs live in the potting medium as well as on the foliage. Go with the Azamax, wetting all exposed plant surfaces AND drenching the potting medium. Azamax is unusual, in that is does affect adults, juveniles and eggs (most insecticides only affect adults), but it would probably be wise to retreat in a week, to be safe.

Thes best time to do any repot when changing the pot conditions as drastically as it is going to S/H culture, is just as new roots are emerging from the base of the plant. Slippers, in my experience, are much more forgiving than other plants, but between the bugs and the treatment, unless the current medium is in sorry shape, I’d pamper the thing in its current pot, enjoy the flower, and wait for that new growth.
Done. Thank you Ray!
 

abax

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Perhaps unwise, but I declare war on invasions in my greenhouse and drench with
Orthene. Does the job every time.
 

SouthPark

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One of my tactics is imidacloprid water mixture - with a dash of pyrethrum liquid ------ and atomiser spray onto leaves and stem of the orchids ----- even under the leaves too. I have nice air-flow through the growing area too. What I don't really like at all is that the sprays I use can take out innocent spiders and things too. Collateral damage. Not a great feeling actually.
 

CarlG

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Perhaps unwise, but I declare war on invasions in my greenhouse and drench with
Orthene. Does the job every time.
I grow inside, under lights. Not gonna use Orthene there. Talstar P seems to work real well (so far), and is odorless.
 

cnycharles

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I can’t give direct advice since I’m a registered applicator, but I recently purchased safari to attack the scale that keeps showing up from different sources. It is systemic and works for scale and mealybug which it is labeled for. It is in the class of insecticide that affects bees. But my orchids are not going to be where bees are. And unless one of the flowers actually had pollen on it that a bee went after at the precise moment I took plants outside to photograph, then it’s almost impossible to affect any bees. For inside growers it is a Godsend to use these chemicals
Death to crawly biters 🥳
 

Ray

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I always go with three treatments, one week apart.
 

tomp

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Azamax two treatments works for me and repot if in doubt.
 

richgarrison

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I always go with three treatments, one week apart.
Ray...

since we have 2 parallel azamax threads going, talk more about the drench... concentration and drench technique.

what would your advice be?... especially given a (relatively) large collection (hundreds of plants in 3"or larger pots) and let's say greenhouse (isolated from the living space)
 

Ray

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Azamax is a 1.2% azadirachtin product, and is recommended at anywhere from 1- to 2 tablespoons/gallon.

When I have used it, I have applied it via a tank-mix pressure sprayer, but mostly through a hose-end sprayer (Ortho Dial-and-Spray). I wet all exposed surfaces of the plant and thoroughly drench the potting medium.

General Hydroponics, the manufacturer, states a 10-14 day treatment interval, so maybe my 3 times at one-week intervals is overkill, but I know if works and I've not seen any issues with any plants.

Interestingly, if temperatures are warm, it works better, and of the solution pH is <7, it is more systemic. As I mix it with pure water, my pH is low, but I've never tried it with the higher pH water I have experienced in places like Kentucky.
 

abax

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SB, with Orthene once is enough. You don't have to spray the plant. Just drench the
potting medium throughly. Then leave the area quickly to avoid the smell.
 
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