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masaccio

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I've managed to further complicate the progress of my Paph. lowii aureum by using a too-strong alcohol solution for mealy bug, with which it arrived. The mature growth has an emerging new leaf which I burned badly trying to reach all mealy bugs. The visible burn doesn't extend down into the axil, and the burn is only on one side of the new leaf. I'm worried that unseen damage may have killed the growing tip though. Whatever, it did or it didn't, and there's a new growth that is also struggling from the mealy infection and possibly winter shipping, though it appears not to have been burned by the alcohol solution. It seems a rather bleak case, though there are good leaves remaining, and good roots as well, which I checked a few days ago. I was actually shocked, after praying that I wasn't going to find a soggy mess when I unpotted and checked. No problem there, I could just slip it back into the pot. So there's plenty of opportunity for it to keep growing one way or another.
I just need a mealy bug application that doesn't risk any further damage. I'm thinking Safers Neem-oil based application would be the way to go. Or, I could go back to the alcohol but dilute it further, and spray it on - as opposed to the Q-tip approach I used the first time. Thanks. I suppose I could ask the vendor to send me another one, but I'd much rather save this one. 🤔
 
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Duck Slipper

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My experience with Mealy’s and alcohol. Alcohol works, perhaps the dead growth on your lowii is caused from the hated creatures. I have used alcohol with excellent results, it just doesn’t get them all. I have used alcohol on center growth buds with no ill effect, and even on seedlings. Orthene, 3 times, one week apart really cleans them up. But, I refuse to use it in the house. I use it once plants are moved outside. If you do a search you will get plenty of results on this forum
 

masaccio

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Thank you. Yes, Orthene is horrible for the human olfactory system. I'll try the alcohol again, as a spray, if it seems necessary. Wasn't paying attention when I bought the bottle of alcohol. Instead of the more friendly 70%, it was in the 90s. Rough lesson. I cut it by half before. Will try a 1/4-strength next time. Thanks again for responding, and will do the search you suggested.
 

Bob in Albany N.Y.

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May I suggest another route? Get some horticulture oil. If I had know a week ago I could have included some in your parcel. You can buy it at Lowes or Home Depot. I use it at 2 tbls per gallon. In a one quart spray bottle it is easiest to use 1 teaspon. They may only have it is a spray bottle that you attach to a hose. You can still buy that and just put it into a spray water bottle. I usual start off doing it every day and then move farther and farther apart. I'd do that until I'm about a week between each spraying. Then continue once a week for another 4 weeks. If you still have problems that means they are in the media. If that is the case you need to change the bark mix. While doing that I even go so far as to spray the roots directly once before repotting. While using oil, the only thing that you have to be careful of is letting the direct sun burn the leaves. Truthfully, I use horticulture oil once a month as a preventative. I use it year round, summer and winter and no longer have the need to use the harsh chemicals that I used to use. Although, I still have them if I need them.
 
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masaccio

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May I suggest another route? Get some horticulture oil....
Is horticultural oil you recommend different from, like, Safers insecticidal soap, which I think it Neem-based (I could be wrong)? If it's the same thing, I have that stuff. I've used it in the past as a surface spray over the medium, and even as a drench to get rid of fungus gnats in the warmer months.
 

Bob in Albany N.Y.

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It is not a soap but rather a light oil. Do a little reading on it. Most places have it, Tractor Supply is another one. Almost any place that sells chemicals for the garden will have it. It is not just one brand name. I'm sure you can even buy a pint or quart on the internet. I buy mine in 2 gallon jug from a greenhouse supply company. I've then shared some with members of my orchid society for a minimal fee. I corrected my original post as this is NOT to be used straight. Don't know what I was thinking. Glad I reread it and made a correction. In any case when trying something new only try it on a limited number of plants to see the results.
 

masaccio

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Got it. I think I've seen it. A new Tractor Supply just opened in my general neighborhood. A great chance to check it out. Thanks, Bob.
 

Guldal

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I refer you to a former answer of mine (and the thread in general):
As insecticides in Denmark and EU as such have at large been prohibited for common use by non-profesionals and have been restricted and highly regulated for use in farming, nurseries, etc., we have had to find new ways for fighting those ubiquitous little bug(ger)s!

I got the following advice from a very experienced and dedicated grower of Neofinetias. It is as cheap and easy to use as it is efficient. I even find it more effective than Calypso (Bayer), that was the most efficient insecticide allowed for hobby growers, before it was prohibited.

In a spray flask mix an emulsion of: 1 ltr. somewhat lukewarm water, 15 ml of unperfumed and uncoloured dishwashing liquid and 15-20 ml paraffin oil, normally used for lamp oil or barbecue lighter fluid (a high-burning kerosene fraction). In Denmark the latter, "tændvæske", can be bought cheaply in supermarkets.
Before use shake it dilligently - during use shake ever so often. Spray the leaves of the plants. Leave the plants to dry.
Plants with a risk for crown rot (fx. Phalaenopsis) or with areas especially susceptible for rot, I dry lightly with a piece of paper towel or with a cotton swab in these areas and then let them dry. If you grow the plants under conditions with better ventilation, than is possible for me, you might not need to dry them as I do.
Repeat the procedure every 5-7 days untill you have made sure the little blighters have gone to bug-heaven or bug-hell (the latter place is indeed where they belong!).
I know people are discussing the length of the hatching cycle of mealybugs, and its implication for treatment. Without having studied the question in detail I would consider 10 days a too long period to wait with the method, described here (as the chemical used is not a systemic remedy), but from an experiental point of view I would consider you on the safe side within the 7 days margin stipulated.
By the way the procedure also applies well in treating scale bugs and mite-infestations.

Best of luck with the crusade on mealy bugs and other like pests!
 

Ray

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I am not a fan of using oils on my plants, but have long been a fan of Azamax, instead. It is a good product to keep in your arsenal, as it is relatively non-toxic (not at all when dry), affects adults and juveniles, is topical and systemic/translaminar, and affects insects and mites.

A newer addition is the Bio Advanced 3-in-1 Insect, Mite, & Disease control.

The trick with mealies is thorough treatment of the entire plant and medium - wet all plant surfaces and drench the medium, treating 3 times at 1-week intervals.
 

TyroneGenade

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I found Windex to be pretty good for topical application. Wet some paper towel or a cue tip for more precise application.

For mass infection I am using neem oil insecticide soap. I am applying about once a week but new bugs appear... They are quite crafty, feesing on the underside of leaves facing away from me. Be sure to rotate the plant when spraying.
 

Sky7Bear

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Orthene (Acephate) comes in a powdered form that does not have the odor which is probably caused by petrochemicals in the liquid.

I'd forget the topicals--can never get them all that way.

Several of the systemics I have can be purchased in a form meant to be placed on the surface of the growing medium rather than sprayed and are delivered to the plant through watering.

And then there are the insect growth regulators which do not kill the insect directly but simply don't allow it to reproduce and breaks the cycle. I use all of the above, but find the last to be perhaps the most effective, especially with scale insects. Now that days are getting longer again in the Northern hemisphere, it doesn't take long for growth of plants and bugs to restart, and those that have found a niche for the winter are reproducing.
 

masaccio

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I don't think I have a major infestation. At point there is no sign of actives ones or established colonies. I picked one out with a toothpick yesterday. I wasn't even sure it was one, it was small but when I mushed it, it went brown so I think it may have been. I think I'll start light-handed for now - Safer Insecticidal soap will be my starting point. I've used it as a drench to deal with warm weather fungus gnats and could expect reasonable success as a foliar spray as well. Thanks so much for the information. I know it will come in handy and I'm bookmarking the thread.
Sky7Bear said: Orthene (Acephate) comes in a powdered form that does not have the odor which is probably caused by petrochemicals in the liquid."
I have the powdered form. Comes in sort've a paint-can like container? I keep it in a baggie in the garage. To me, anyway, it still stinks to high heaven. :eek:
 

Ray

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Acephate, like natural gas, does not have a strong odor, so mercaptan odorants are added to let people know they’re present

I’ve used Orthene for several decades, and it has always had an odorant.
 

NYEric

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For insect pests I use a mix of soap/oil/alcohol/water/and Merit 75 (tiny bit for a kicker!). For mealies I try to go after them with alcohol on a Q-tip, they get stuck on the alcohol so you can manually remove them.
 

Phred

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Thank you. Yes, Orthene is horrible for the human olfactory system. I'll try the alcohol again, as a spray, if it seems necessary. Wasn't paying attention when I bought the bottle of alcohol. Instead of the more friendly 70%, it was in the 90s. Rough lesson. I cut it by half before. Will try a 1/4-strength next time. Thanks again for responding, and will do the search you suggested.
Hi masaccio
For minor infestations:
I use 90% alcohol on Paphiopedilum all the time and I never have a problem. If I see one or two bugs I use a cotton swab dipped in the alcohol. Sometimes I spray so the alcohol gets down into the attachment of the leaves.
The most likely cause of damage to your plant when you treat it with alcohol is allowing the alcohol to evaporate too fast. Most of us use fans to increase air circulation. If you place a plant treated with alcohol where a fan is blowing you’ll cause the alcohol to evaporate too fast and as it does it cools the plant down... evaporation = cooling and too fast = too cold and that can damage you plant.
I just did a new post about treating orchids grown in the house with chemicals. I treated a bunch of Paphiopedilum with acephate earlier today.
 

masaccio

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Hm. Well, good to know. I was using Q-tips and I diluted the 90% alcohol to 50-50 with water. My fan is a very gentle ceiling fan which is barely noticeable in a warmish room, so the too-quick drying thing seems improbable. Maybe it's just a misdiagnosis on my part. Luckily, even though it's a blemish, the leaf is continuing on. Thanks for the post. Acephate noted. :)
 

tomp

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I have success with Azamax. I believe Ray mentioned this product elsewhere. Little if any smell, non toxic, effective. I believe it is a neem extract.
 

littlefrog

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Put on some long rubber kitchen gloves and totally submerge the pot and plant in the pesticide of your choice for several minutes. Yes, some medium will come out of the pot. So what, fish it out and put it back into the pot. This is what I do when I bring in a new collection - I dunk absolutely everything.

I like something translaminar - like Safari.
 

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