Mealybugs in seedling compot...

Discussion in 'Problems, Pests, & Diseases' started by Hamlet, Mar 20, 2016.

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  1. Mar 20, 2016 #1

    Hamlet

    Hamlet

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    Today I discovered that a plant next to my compot of Paph. vietnamense seedlings had mealy bugs. And sadly the pest has spread to some of the seedlings in the compot. I removed all the bugs and white foam I could find with a cotton swab drenched in rubbing alcohol and a toothpick. Then I sprayed the affected leaves and between the leaves with a spray containing Thiacloprid 0,015% since that’s all I have at home. What else can I do now? Should I repot them right away and rinse them in water? I don’t really want to use more insecticides since I grow on the windowsill and don’t like chemicals inside the house.

    This is really disheartening, 12 beautiful, vigorous seedlings from my very first flask, and I've been growing them for almost two years. They were doing so well and now this. :(
     
  2. Mar 20, 2016 #2

    NYEric

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    Can you get Botanigard?
     
  3. Mar 21, 2016 #3

    Linus_Cello

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    Good air circulation.
     
  4. Mar 21, 2016 #4

    gonewild

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    Give it a little time. You may have killed them all.
    Watch them and if you see another one use the swab of alcohol.
    Don't repot now just because of the bugs.
     
  5. Mar 21, 2016 #5

    Bjorn

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    Is that the compot you showed us before? If so, how big are they? Could you pot them or are they too small still?
     
  6. Mar 21, 2016 #6

    Hamlet

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    Thank you for the replies.

    No, I can't find it in any EU shop online.

    OK, that's definitely a problem in the winter.

    I'm a little worried that there might be more hiding in the mix. It's the same compost, yes. That's how the seedlings look now, the biggest ones have a LS of 14cm:

    [​IMG]

    compared to six months ago when I last repotted them:

    [​IMG]

    The ones in the white pot are unaffected, fortunately, as I have them them in another window.
     
  7. Mar 21, 2016 #7

    Bjorn

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    I see, it may be difficult to eradicate the mealies without systemic insecticide. Perhaps you should pot them up as they seem big enough combined with some spraying?
     
  8. Mar 21, 2016 #8

    Hamlet

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    Yes, to repot or not to repot, that is the question... I'll think about it, I have no more bark, anyway. I can't put them in pots until I buy more. Is there anything I could spray that's "not too dangerous" and available in Europe?
     
  9. Mar 21, 2016 #9

    gonewild

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    Considering you would likely use a chemical one time there is no need to be very concerned about the "danger". Just be careful when and how you apply it.
    You are better off to use a "dangerous" chemical one time as opposed to a "less dangerous" chemical ten times. If you are going to use a chemcal use one that does the job with the least amount of exposure.

    Unless you use a chemical to kill the bugs repotting probably wont eliminate them if they exist in the roots already. Since you are worried about what is underground repot them and have a look see, at least then you know what you are fighting.
     
  10. Mar 21, 2016 #10

    orcoholic

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    Horticultural oil isn't dangerous at all. You just need to keep spraying it for several weeks. Neem oil can be effective if used often enough. Besides suffocating the insects it tastes so bad the newly hatched don't want to eat it.

    A better option may be to mix up a gallon of insecticide and instead of spraying it, soak the seedlings in it when you repot. Using a systemic or translaminar insecticide will give a long lasting effect. Translaminar means it gets absorbed into and moves through the leaves.

    Don't know what's available in Europe.
     
  11. Mar 22, 2016 #11
    Imidacloprid if it's available there works great on mealies. It's usually sold as a pelleted powder that you spread on the medium. It works for months systemically.
     
  12. Mar 22, 2016 #12

    Happypaphy7

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    Well, I had a horrible experience with horticultural oil and neem oil (and this one stinks so bad!!!), so will never use them.

    With such little plants, I would not spray them with anything honestly.
    It is a risk business. ;)

    If you can diligently keep at it, I would suggest just to check on your seedlings often daily, morning and afternoon or evening, as often as you can, or even if it's just morning and night, check the center and underside of the plants for presence of mealies.
    Then, using something like toothpick (my choice of tool), carefully dislodge them as you find any and make sure you do not drop them on the mix but kill them!!! pop them or squeeze them! :D

    Sometimes, you can have a surprise by adding one or two small drop of rubbing alcohol into the center of a plant using a small spoid, any hiding mealies usually walk out in a short time. You wait a few minutes, and then kill any that crawl out.

    You should be able to get rid of them or at least keep them in check this way until plants get bigger and be better able to take sprays, if you really choose to go with it.
    My spray experience was always a horror story, and I stopped using any. They were all "home use" as well.

    Fortunately, I hardly ever have to deal with bugs. A couple of times in the past, newly purchased plants came loaded with mealies.
    So check new purchases thoroughly, and you should be fine unless you already are harboring some.

    Happy hunting! :)
     
  13. Mar 22, 2016 #13

    abax

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    I agree with Lance. Use a systemic once and have done
    with it. I've used Orthene 97% as a drench and have
    never seen any damage as a result.
     
  14. Mar 22, 2016 #14

    Lance Birk

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    Silly question. Go buy a bottle of rubbing alcohol and hand sprayer, Spray leaves top and bottom, especially in the crotch. Drench mix with alcohol, wait 10 -15 minutes then wash with plain water.

    To ensure they do not return you must repot; I'd say those seedlings should go in separate pots. But, just to be safe I'd inspect the roots for eggs and infant masses; spray again then repot. Rinse again after brief wait.

    Toothpicks and Q-Tips are a joke, so are Neem oils, etc.
     
  15. Mar 22, 2016 #15

    PaphMadMan

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    That is exactly what I would do also. Having lost entire collections to mealie bugs twice during periods of unavoidable inattention I don't go halfway. I would just add that every plant within a meter or 2 should be treated. They DO have mealie bugs too. And every plant you have should be watched closely for a couple months. You can take care of the problem now with certainty, or you can spend the next years finding little outbreaks from time to time, never knowing when the big one will come exactly when you can't do anything about it.
     
  16. Mar 23, 2016 #16

    abax

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    All right Kirk!!! Great minds think alike. ;>)
     
  17. Mar 23, 2016 #17

    Hamlet

    Hamlet

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    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    Alright, no half measures, I don’t want to take any chances. I will find something to spray the plants with and repot them. I will also treat the surrounding plants, even if they are not visibly affected, among others a compot of Delrosi vinicolor seedlings, a BS sangii, a BS hangianum and a NBS tigrinum. Of course, this has to happen to some of my most valuable plants :(

    I brought mealies into my collection with a newly purchased plant. I only noticed some time later that the plant was affected, once the bugs had multiplied to the point that they were basically covering it and it was more white than green. I know this can happen to any vendor and there is probably no greenhouse on the planet that is completely pest free, but I won't be buying from that vendor again.

    Thanks for your input. :) But I decided I will spray them, I want to be sure the pest is dead to prevent it from spreading further. I guess I'll have to see how the little plants take it...
     
  18. Mar 23, 2016 #18

    NYEric

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  19. Mar 24, 2016 #19

    myxodex

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    I'm sorry to hear of your problem with these bugs, they are very annoying! I've recently had mealies in my neo's and some of my paphs. One of the problems you face is that in the EU many of the products that are available in the US are not on this side of the pond.

    I have found an effective DIY mixture of the insecticidal soap available in the EU (Savona) , isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and nicotine ... it kills them fast and doesn't smell. Works for spider mites as well.

    The recipe is for every 100 mls of mixture;
    savona 2 mls,
    IPA 20 mls
    nicotine concentrate (1 - 2 mls) # hazardous !!! ... see caution below #

    # The nicotine concentrate can be obtained from some online DIY e-cigarette vendors as a 54mg/ml solution in glycerol (don't use the propylene glycol version) ... this stuff is a bit nasty so wear gloves or at least wash off immediately if you get any on your skin. From the same e-cig vendor you should be able to get 3 ml disposable plastic bulb pipettes that are useful for doing this step safely #

    Add the nic concentrate to the IPA, make up the savona in water (80mls) then combine these two and shake to mix.

    This mix can stored in an aspirator in a dark place, the IPA acts as a preservative but the nicotine is light sensitive. I keep this in a perfume type aspirator and so I can spray into leaf axils at the first sign of mealies. It doesn't smell and you only need to use it locally in small amounts. This probably isn't very useful for large greenhouse collections but is convenient and effective for indoor growers.
     
  20. Mar 24, 2016 #20

    Hamlet

    Hamlet

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    Thank you very much for your reply and DIY recipe! Yes, I noticed a lot of stuff is not available here at all or not allowed to be sold.

    I haven't seen any bugs since my isopropyl killing spree but it is probably only a matter of time before they resurface, so I'm still going to repot and spray.

    I will look into the soap and nicotine solution you mentioned. If I can't find a systemic I may do that. Well, at least I already have the isopropyl, that is easy enough to obtain. Now I have some googling to do...
     

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