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Thread: Plant pest problems

  1. #9
    RL7836's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by back2eight View Post
    My sarracenia are suffering and I can't exactly figure out what is wrong. In some of them, when I unpot them, there are tiny black bugs in the soil that look like sugar ants.
    I'd be a little leery in assigning causality to those bugs.

    1 - they could be causing your problem (although I can't remember seeing threads that truly determined small black ants were killing Sarrs)
    2 - something else may be killing your plants (ie: fungal infection) and the ants may be feeding on the decaying tissue.
    3 - the ants may just be taking up residence because they found an environment they like and have no relationship to your plants health.

    Unless you 'know' that these critters are causing your problem, you could spend a decent chunk of money, quite a bit of time and spread lots of nasty, toxic chemicals ....... and possibly have done nothing to resolve your problem.
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    back2eight's Avatar
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    Try submerging them in water completly for a day or two

    That is not an option with THOUSANDS of plants. If I only had a small collection to care for I could, but I have hundreds in my personal collection and I also run a business. Way too many here for me to unpot, soak in water, and repot - and then whatever is causing the problem will still be around. I need something that will kill it.

    So, any advice on those products I listed above? Does anyone see anything in those that will kill my plants?

    ---------- Post added at 12:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:57 AM ----------

    RL7836, I don't know, I'm shooting in the dark here - but something is, and I need to treat them, soil and all. If I find a safe product, it certainly couldn't hurt and may help. Some of these products say fungicide and pesticide, so whatever the cause I'm hoping it will take care of it. If not, that would help narrow down the problem - it would let me know that whatever is wrong is not those little black ants or anything that would be killed by the pesticide.

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    Never Knows Best gill_za's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by back2eight View Post
    Try submerging them in water completly for a day or two

    That is not an option with THOUSANDS of plants. If I only had a small collection to care for I could, but I have hundreds in my personal collection and I also run a business. Way too many here for me to unpot, soak in water, and repot - and then whatever is causing the problem will still be around. I need something that will kill it.

    So, any advice on those products I listed above? Does anyone see anything in those that will kill my plants?

    ---------- Post added at 12:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:57 AM ----------

    RL7836, I don't know, I'm shooting in the dark here - but something is, and I need to treat them, soil and all. If I find a safe product, it certainly couldn't hurt and may help. Some of these products say fungicide and pesticide, so whatever the cause I'm hoping it will take care of it. If not, that would help narrow down the problem - it would let me know that whatever is wrong is not those little black ants or anything that would be killed by the pesticide.
    Imidocloprid is a systemic insecticide. Why don't you unpot and separate a few plants, treat them with various insecticides each (buy small amounts of each in common sprayer bottles etc) and leave two or three untreated as a control. Monitor the plants for couple weeks and find out what worked best and what didn't.

  4. #12
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Ants could be a sign of aphids, scale or mealybugs. Inspect your plants with a magnifying glass. And mealybugs can get into the roots and you won't see them above ground.

    Blindly using a shotgun approach with insecticides can cause more harm than good as you kill of beneficial species and increase the chemical resistance to the stuff that doesn't "work". And you never know how various insecticides will react when mixed.

    What works well on some species may not work well on others. Getting rid of ants may not get rid of aphids.

    Systemic insecticides and many biologicals like BTi or spinosad have to be ingest by the pests to work. Depending on what the ants (if that's what they are) are eating and how the pesticide is delivered it may have little or no effect at all.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Never Knows Best gill_za's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    And you never know how various insecticides will react when mixed.

    What works well on some species may not work well on others. Getting rid of ants may not get rid of aphids.

    Systemic insecticides and many biologicals like BTi or spinosad have to be ingest by the pests to work. Depending on what the ants (if that's what they are) are eating and how the pesticide is delivered it may have little or no effect at all.
    I think that is why setting aside some affected plants with original soil and treating them each separately (and soil outsource) with an insectecide/fungicide/miticide/whatever and leaving some untreated plants as control is a good study that OP can run. This will show what treatment works and what doesn't. The finer details of the experiment OP can figure out himself (as in treating same species with different agents etc.)

    Sitting and waiting until the plants miraculously get better is the worst thing he can do. Atleast this approach will eliminate some potential causes and zero down on the treatment. With that approach the OP can also investigate a non chemical based way for treatment (whatever that may be).

    And pics would be great I think too. Experts here may be able to identify the problem from the looks of it

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    Just a thought, but why not take a representative plant and work on that one. Once you have identified the cause and subsequent cure/remedy, then work on the next solution which is to apply the remedy on a mass scale.

    ie: If submerging plants in water works, buy a kiddie pool and do them pots and all in batches.

    I have no idea what your problem could be, but I hope you figure it out. It would be a shame to see so many plants lost.

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    A correct identification is the only way to get good control. Otherwise you are shooting in the dark and wasting time and money.

    Given that you are in an area that Sarracenia sp. do or might have occurred naturally a few of the pests specific to sarracenia might be attacking your plants. Be they insects of fungal diseases. Both of which will run crazy on plants in cultivation. Have never seen these guys but http://www.google.com/search?q=Papai...ient=firefox-a
    is possible in your neck of the woods.

    Also as Not a Number pointed out aphids scales and mealybugs might be a problem. More so with ants. Also there are mealybugs that will live on the roots and kill plants without even been seen until plants are up rooted. You might want to look at plants with a range of symptoms. Oftentimes looking at the plants with advanced symptoms you may not see the pest involved, more often than not by that time you will see secondary colonization by innocent bystanders...

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    back2eight's Avatar
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    Although I really appreciate all the conversation, I simply asked which of those products that I listed above would be the safest for my plants. I do plan on testing it on a few of them first before just wholesale soaking all my plants in it. I'm not an idiot. I've just never had to deal with insecticides on sarracenias before, and I thought some of you might have a suggestion of which one has worked good for you personally without killing your plants. The discussion is fine, but I still need to know which is the safest out of those that I pasted a few posts back. Thank you.

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