Safari pesticide question

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Hey all. Hope you’re well and not too freaked about this virus.

I am wondering what folks think of what I did today. What’s done is done but it occurs to me that I maybe should have asked.

Here it is: I am having a moderate mealybug and scale problem, as well as fungus gnats here and there (they have seasonal waves and it’s been warm here in Chicago).

Today, I watered all Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium. I used one gallon RO water mixed with K-Lite (about a year with it, I like the steady growth and no burn to roots or leaves), to which I also added 2 grams of Safari pesticide. Unlike usually, I poured some on leaves and leaf axils.

I let each pot drain into a bucket and after I ran out of the first gallon of water, I started to reuse it for other plants.

I did this with nearly all my orchids until the gallon was gone.

What I’m wondering is, did I make a huge mistake? I assumed the Safari was still effective (I don’t have a lot of it to play with) and that there’s still enough fertilizer in the water to be effective. In 4 or 4 days, I will water again as normal, no Safari.

Am I ok here? I watered my P. volonteanum in high spike (10 inches and growing, bud seems small); is it likely to mess that up?

All feedback appreciated.

Thank you!
 

Ray

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I generally avoid mixing "nutrients" with "pesticides" as well, but I don't think that was a particular problem in this case. However, you did two things I would not give you high grades for:

1) Never reuse pour-through of anything. Liquids are perfect vectors for sharing pathogens - bacteria, fungi and viruses.
2) When using pesticides, in addition to saturating the potting medium, it helps to SPRAY the vegetation to wet it completely. (I know Safari is systemic, but if foliar applied, it has contact and translaminar properties, as well.)

The label calls for 0.5-1 tsp/gallon. Is 2 grams within that range?

Plus, it, like most insecticides, does not kill juveniles, so you'll need to do two more <proper> treatments at one-week intervals.
 
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Hey thank you...oops. My bad. But my plants all grow in pretty much the same mix, so close to one another...I figured it was just sort of a given that they share stuff. But I regret it now. Yes, I would say the 2g goes within that instruction but I bought mine loose on eBay, with only verbal instructions.

QUOTE="Ray, post: 682483, member: 45"]I generally avoid mixing "nutrients" with "pesticides" as well, but I don't think that was a particular problem in this case. However, you did two things I would not give you high grades for:

1) Never reuse pour-through of anything. Liquids are perfect vectors for sharing pathogens - bacteria, fungi and viruses.
2) When using pesticides, in addition to saturating the potting medium, it helps to SPRAY the vegetation to wet it completely. (I know Safari is systemic, but if foliar applied, it has contact and translaminar properties, as well.)

The label calls for 0.5-1 tsp/gallon. Is 2 grams within that range?

Plus, it, like most insecticides, does not kill juveniles, so you'll need to do two more <proper> treatments at one-week intervals.[/QUOTE]
 

KateL

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For me (no expertise), I would worry more about Ray’s 1) than 2). I have not used Safari, as far as I can recall, but I find slipper buds/blossoms to be especially sensitive to direct chemical applications. That said, it can’t be helped sometimes and you gotta kill the sap-sucking critters. Finally, orchid growers - particularly Paph growers - tend to see the beauty that lies ahead of us; as long as you don’t keep doing that which you regret, it’s a better way to go.
P.S. Grams are a measurement of mass, teaspoons are a measurement of volume, so they are not directly comparable. However, I have read that one teaspoon of (dry) granulated sugar is equal to about 4.2 grams. :)
 

DrLeslieEe

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I generally avoid mixing "nutrients" with "pesticides" as well, but I don't think that was a particular problem in this case. However, you did two things I would not give you high grades for:

1) Never reuse pour-through of anything. Liquids are perfect vectors for sharing pathogens - bacteria, fungi and viruses.
2) When using pesticides, in addition to saturating the potting medium, it helps to SPRAY the vegetation to wet it completely. (I know Safari is systemic, but if foliar applied, it has contact and translaminar properties, as well.)

The label calls for 0.5-1 tsp/gallon. Is 2 grams within that range?

Plus, it, like most insecticides, does not kill juveniles, so you'll need to do two more <proper> treatments at one-week intervals.
I agree with Ray and Rockbend.

Do not reuse old treat water between plants. You may be treating a pest with one chemical but spread a bacteria disease in that water. A repeat to get the new hatchlings in 10-12 days is needed to fully wipe out the pests. I use the systemic Merit and have never seen a scale or mealies in over 3 years. Note: I quarantine and treat all new plants and returning plants from shows for 2 weeks. This is important as they will introduce critters in less than 2 weeks!. After Merit, I will spray with horticultural oil a month after to control spider mites on my Phals esp the underside of leaves.

I also agree with KateL that some chemicals when sprayed on flowers/buds and even on plants with buds, can create problems with deformed flowers or even blast or damage them. I usually do not spray on the flower stems, but if I do (by mistake) I will spray rinse the chemicals off with RO water. This is the case with Physan, which can poke holes in flowers (which I have done on show flowers before the show!).
 

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I grow indoors and bring trays of plants to the sink. I water with my mix from a 5gal bucket with a pump and sink sprayer contraption I made. If I water everything it’s about 35 gallons at a time... thats a lot of water and chemicals. I’m not advocating doing this but I have reused water in the past... mostly in the winter when I couldn’t bring my plants outside and lots need to be treated. Outside a few gallons in a sprayer would treat my whole collection. My concern with reusing water has more to do with what the pH coming out of each pot might be than spreading disease. It would depend on how long you ran water through each plant. On a side note - when I lived in Colorado I used to buy orchids from a retailer who’s shop was on the first floor of an old house. Her staff walked around with a bucket of water and dunked each plant whenever it was watering time. It obviously worked for her. I guess if I had a plant I was suspicious about I would water that one last... lol

Directions for imidacloprid recommend mixing with fertilizer to help root uptake. Safari is a similar chemical so I use it with fertilizer and have had no problems.
 

sergeharvey

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I agree with Ray and Rockbend.

Do not reuse old treat water between plants. You may be treating a pest with one chemical but spread a bacteria disease in that water. A repeat to get the new hatchlings in 10-12 days is needed to fully wipe out the pests. I use the systemic Merit and have never seen a scale or mealies in over 3 years. Note: I quarantine and treat all new plants and returning plants from shows for 2 weeks. This is important as they will introduce critters in less than 2 weeks!. After Merit, I will spray with horticultural oil a month after to control spider mites on my Phals esp the underside of leaves.

I also agree with KateL that some chemicals when sprayed on flowers/buds and even on plants with buds, can create problems with deformed flowers or even blast or damage them. I usually do not spray on the flower stems, but if I do (by mistake) I will spray rinse the chemicals off with RO water. This is the case with Physan, which can poke holes in flowers (which I have done on show flowers before the show!).
I agree with Ray and Rockbend.

Do not reuse old treat water between plants. You may be treating a pest with one chemical but spread a bacteria disease in that water. A repeat to get the new hatchlings in 10-12 days is needed to fully wipe out the pests. I use the systemic Merit and have never seen a scale or mealies in over 3 years. Note: I quarantine and treat all new plants and returning plants from shows for 2 weeks. This is important as they will introduce critters in less than 2 weeks!. After Merit, I will spray with horticultural oil a month after to control spider mites on my Phals esp the underside of leaves.

I also agree with KateL that some chemicals when sprayed on flowers/buds and even on plants with buds, can create problems with deformed flowers or even blast or damage them. I usually do not spray on the flower stems, but if I do (by mistake) I will spray rinse the chemicals off with RO water. This is the case with Physan, which can poke holes in flowers (which I have done on show flowers before the show!).
Dr Ee. What is the dilution rate you use for Merit and where is it available in Canada? I'm from Lévis, Quebec.
 

KateL

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Serge, The main ingredient/generic name for Merit is imidacloprid. You should follow the directions on the label of the product you buy as it may be available in different strengths. (I would be surprised if Leslie told you otherwise, btw.) In the US, you can buy it on Amazon or eBay, with different product names, including Merit, if it’s not in your local hardware or garden store. Good luck. Kate
 

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Buy generic imidacloprid it's way cheaper. I use the 1.47% and its 5-6 teaspons/gal. I use 6 teaspoons (2Tbsp/gal) as a drench. Instructions say use with weak fertilizer to help uptake. I have never had it damage blooms but I dont get it on the buds or blooms. 2 applications 10-14 days apart.
 

cnycharles

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Here’s a good article about mixing nutrients and pesticides. In some cases, having some nitrogen can definitely help the intake of pesticides/fungicides. It’s been a few years since I was in Utica where we were told this and used it more, but the chemical intake pathway of many plants can help the pesticide go in better along with the feed.
The article stresses not mixing aliette or draconian with fertilizer. Often the labels will address tank mix issues since they’ve tested for this, though not as much for fertilizer, and they will say ‘don’t mix with this or that’. Some things don’t interact well with copper unless buffered.
Imidacloprid is pretty safe plant and people wise, though should always be careful of any chemical on flower buds directly. Again often the label will say if not to use with flowers. And some chemicals will not pass into flowers; this is a problem with marathon and thrip. You drench your plant but the bugs are all in the flowers and they don’t die. One of the ‘safety’ concerns with imidacloprid, is what happens when you apply it out on soil or apply and it drains into water supply. It hangs on in ground water very well without breaking down like many other chemicals, so it persists where it shouldn’t be. Applications on sandy Long Island caused it to enter the water supply. In itself not a bad chemical but it’s one trait causes later problems

Excellent article from growertalks magazine-

But, safari doesn’t contain imidacloprid, it contains dinotefuran. Use as the label instructs
 
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Interesting thread... Most interesting to me is using Merit as a drench. Years ago (about 25) I was a Merit 75 WP product tester (on hybrid tea roses in containers) for Bayer, the manufacturer. That original product was 75% imidacloprid. The application rate was ¼ teas. per 2.5 gal. water for foliar spray. For drench it was .7-1.4 level teaspoons per foot of height for shrubs (along with a nitrogen fertilizer for uptake). It had been studied by Bayer as a drench in garden soil, but not in containers, hence their interest in my experiment. The containers I used were 25 gal. with the same soil mix I used in the garden for roses, and virtually performed the same as garden soil (as far as the experiment was concerned). Bayer sent me 2 pounds of Merit 75 WP!!! This was at a time when 2 oz. (how it was usually sold) was close to $100. No generics were avail then, nor was the Bayer Advanced product that is available now. It's a shame it did not have an infinite shelf life or I'd still be using the same supply!!!!!
So, I say all of that to say this: When I started growing orchids seriously about 5 years ago, and dealt with mealy bugs the first time, Merit was my first choice pesticide. Since I knew mealies can reproduce and hide in the mix, I called Bayer technical and asked about using Merit as a drench on orchids. I was using a bark, charcoal, perlite mix at the time, and they said they could not be sure (and could not recommend) that it would work as a drench in that mix. The idea was that soil holds the chemical around the plant's roots over time. [It can take a small tree or shrub 60 days for the chemical to translocate from the roots into the leaves, stems to be protective. In roses, it would never translocate beyond the peduncle, so did not protect the flower petals. With a pest that attacks the flowers (such as Japanese Beetles) it required spritzing the buds and flowers as they opened, daily, to keep the beetles from destroying them.] So, with an open mix like bark, which holds so much air, they said it was questionable whether it would be effective as a drench.
I'm sure I've done a gastly job of describing this, as I'm not a scientist and am going on my memory from a discussion with their technical team 5 years ago, however, I did not trust a drench alone. I used foliar spray and also poured it through the mix (just for extra hoping for some efficacy), but repeated my spray at precise intervals for the particular pest, not trusting the drench.
So, for what it's worth, that's my experience. I found the Bayer technical team more than happy to answer my questions re orchids, so if in doubt call them. They may have more info now re orchids or drenches in more airy mixes such as bark.
Oh, the only thing I would add is are the generics really considerably cheaper?? When you consider the original 75 WP is ¼ teaspoon per 2.5 gallons versus some of the mixtures talked about above, I don't know...
 

richgarrison

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Buy generic imidacloprid it's way cheaper. I use the 1.47% and its 5-6 teaspons/gal. I use 6 teaspoons (2Tbsp/gal) as a drench. Instructions say use with weak fertilizer to help uptake. I have never had it damage blooms but I dont get it on the buds or blooms. 2 applications 10-14 days apart.

When i made the decision to buy Merit, it seemed to make financial sense for me given the alternatives... The wettable powder version i purchased was 75% imidacloprid, and as a WP formulation, has quite the shelf life... a gallon of solution uses only a few grams of the powder... on amazon, it was $60ish.

just throwing that info out there...
 

cnycharles

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Yes online solutions (meaning ready to use or already diluted) you end up paying for shipping water :) which you could add yourself and have more chemical. If buying in person In a store at least you’re not paying shipping
 

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