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need some help guys, for a surefire mealy killer

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bwester

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Ok, these mealy bugs are some sort of mutant breed or something. I've treated multiple times with orthenex and malathion and they still eat at my paphs.
grrrrrrrr
what can i use that is a sure fire mealy killer???
 

tocarmar

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I have had good luck using 70% alcohol & a Q-tip, it gets down in the leaf axils pretty easy without damage to the plant. The alcohol evaporates really quick as to not damage the plant either.
If you want to use a spray I mix about 60% water to 40% alcohol, just make sure the mix don't sit in the crown of the plant, as it will kill it faster than the mealy bugs.

Tom
 

Candace

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Orthene WP or Merit. I prefer Merit due to me hating the stench of Orthene...but Orthene WP is much less expensive. I also rotate and use Enstar on occasion, but that's very expensive too. With Merit you only use 1/8 tsp. per gallon so a $65 container lasts a long time. And it's worth it!

Sorry guys, but when you own a g.h. and have a sizeable collection, say over several hundred orchids, alchohol and q-tips are about as effective as spitting on them.
 

Rick Barry

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I've been battling mealies and sometimes other pests since I started growing orchids. I have come to the conclusion that such pests are impossible to fully eradicate. Even if you were to kill every pest in your collection new pests will undoubtedly arrive shortly. Pests are introduced by a variety of means, some of which are beyond our ability to prevent.

Newly acquired plants frequently carry the seeds of an infestation in the form of larvae or immature adults. A plant can seem completely pest-free on the surface, only to harbor a nascent colony of nasties just below the surface of the media. The isolation of new plants may be beneficial, but I suspect that in this respect growers may talk a good game, but most of us fail to take effective action. It is difficult or even impossible for most growers to provide such isolation while providing adequate growing conditions. Few of us have the facilities for that.

I assume that all incoming plants have some level of infestation. This may be taken to imply that all commercial growers suffer from some level of infestation. This is probably a gross generalization, but who can say at any point in time just which facilities are currently pest-free? Better to err on the side of caution. Accordingly, I spray all new plants upon arrival. After flowering I always repot every new plant, dousing the entire plant (especially the roots, the incubation area for pests) in an Orthene WP spray.

In maintaining a collection it behooves the grower to become sensitive to even the subtle signs of the presence of pests. As a slipper grower I have become particularly adept at detecting the manifestations of a potential mealybug infestation. Mealies can be associated with the color white, that is, they are white, their nests are white and their immature young appear as white. If I see anything white on a plant, from an individual to a fuzz to even just a speck, I spray the affected plant immediately.

The key in dealing with pests is regular inspection of each plant. I'm not sure if this can be accomplished in a really large collection, but it would be beneficial. Greenhouse growers tend to treat their orchids collectively while home growers treat their plants individually. The greenhouse grower treats benches, while the home grower treats individual plants. Though the greenhouse approach saves time and energy, the second is far more effective in spotting problems on individual plants.

I maintain a spray bottle of pre-mixed Orthene at all times. Since insecticides degrade in the presence of light, I cover the spray bottle with black electrical tape. I use Orthene at about double the recommended strength with a spreader-sticker added. I have found that the recommended strength just isn't effective, and a larger dose is a sure killer.

I have heard that a plant should be well watered prior to spraying for pests. I take the opposite approach, that the medium is more likely to maintain residual or systemic effects if it is allowed to absorb the spray. It seems far more likely to do so if it is sprayed in a dry condition. I have seen no detrimental effects from doing so.

I don't think pests can be eradicated, but they can be controlled. Start by upping the insecticide dosage, and protect yourself at all times.

Regards,
Rick
 

Jon in SW Ohio

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I have Malathion, Diazinon, Alcohol, and Chlordane resistant mealies...only squishing them has proved to actually kill them. :(

Jon
 

SlipperFan

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Bayer Tree and Shrub has the same active ingredient as Merit, and is much cheaper. Someone told me to use a proportion of 1 C to 1 gallon of water. This has been working very well for me for mealies, scale and aphids. It can be used as a soil drench, as well, because it is a systemic. I've had no problems with phytotoxicity. But I spray my plants outdoors and leave them in the shade until they are dry.
 
E

Eric Muehlbauer

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I have some luck with Bifenthrin....and there used to be stuff with methoprene that worked, but I agree with Rick...mealies are here to stay, and while you can control them, you can never eradicate them. Putting them outdoors for the summer helps lower the mealie population, except for the most severe infestations (and I think we all have some plants in that category), but I doubt that they can ever be wiped out...Eric
 

Candace

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Dot, I have to disagree with you here. I think Bayer SUCKS. The bugs didn't mind it at all. Many people on several forums have found the Bayer product severly lacking and have the same sentiments as me. And for the amount you have to use Merit or Orthene WP works out to be cheaper solutions in the long run. Plus, needing to use a cup per gallon sort of lets on how weak the product is...
 

Jon in SW Ohio

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Do NOT get the Bayer on any gesneriads like african violets etc! I was only using a tablespoon per gallon with no luck, but wow did the gesneriads I watered with it melt quick.

Jon
 

likespaphs

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i've had good luck with talus, marathon ii, safari. these are all fairly expensive chemicals, though.
another option, if plants haven't been sprayed for a while (this amount of time depends on the pesticide(s) used) but if you get lacewing larvae and spread them around they can be very effective....
 

SlipperFan

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Dot, I have to disagree with you here. I think Bayer SUCKS. The bugs didn't mind it at all. Many people on several forums have found the Bayer product severly lacking and have the same sentiments as me. And for the amount you have to use Merit or Orthene WP works out to be cheaper solutions in the long run. Plus, needing to use a cup per gallon sort of lets on how weak the product is...
Bayer makes several products. Are you sure we are talking about the same one???
 

Rick

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I've been very happy with Bayer (actually I believe it's their "Rose and Bloom" that has Merrit in it). It comes pre mixed in a pump sprayer, and for 5 or 6$ it will work a small collection of 100-300 plants fairly well.

I've gone through the usual alcohol, insecticidal soaps, oils,and predatory insects, but only Merrit (as used in the Bayer product) has made the situation controllable for me.
 
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gore42

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I had great results for several months with the Bayer Rose and Flower spray with Merit. Then I got a plant from a grower in Kansas that had some mealies on it, and they were resistant. They were super-mealies; they have been resistant to quite a few things that I've sprayed o them... luckily, I've been able to quarantine the plants, and I think they're all gone now. I'm going to get some Enstar anyway :)

- Matt
 

Candace

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Rick,
If you're happy spending $4.50 to $5.00 a container for the Bayer and you get some ridiculously low% Imidacloprid go for it....If I remember correctly it was close to only 1%. You're mainly paying for water, glycerine and an antifoaming agent.

My Merit WP is 75% Imidacloprid and you only need 1/8 tsp. per gallon. Not a crazy amount like with the Bayer.
 

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