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Thread: How do I 'de-bug' a moss covered rock?

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    mobile's Avatar
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    How do I 'de-bug' a moss covered rock?

    Bit of a strange question I guess, but I have a rock which is covered with moss and I would like to try growing an epiphytic Utricularia on it. Before doing so though, I would like to make sure that it is insect free, so does anyone have an ideas on how I would achieve this?

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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    Boil it?

    Sorry, misread. I thought you wanted to kill everything. In your case I would try submersing the piece in water for a few days.
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    mobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amphirion View Post
    Boil it?
    I'd like to keep the moss alive.

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    You might try surrounding the rock with a high concentration of CO2, perhaps enclosed in a food cooler with dry ice a few inches below the rock....as the dry ice sublimates, CO2 will be released and should fill the cooler.

    The CO2 will kill the insects, but you might have to repeat the procedure to deal with any unhatched eggs.

    dvg

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    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Could also use vinegar and baking soda. Just have to build a reaction chamber with over flow for foam. Easily done though.

    I think I'm going to check into a co2 tank to so the same thing. It will also stimulate plant growth.
    JB
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    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    Indeed, suffocation by drowning or CO2 is a good route if you can maintain it long enough
    to kill whatever may be there.
    If you want to go the insecticide route, a pyrethrin based one would be the safest for the plants IMO.
    It will be hard to know if you killed everything off, until something shows up or not.

    Another route is to try something like a mix of hot peppers (habanero's) and water & a half drop of soap, sprayed on or to soak in, to make the place a bit uncomfortable for any beasties.
    This won't harm the plant portions at all, and should encourage any bugs to leave, if not kill them off (if mixed hot enough).

    (I would likely start by submerging the rock in water, just to see if anyone makes an appearance!) Then go from there.
    You may be worried about nothing. (Then again, maybe not!)
    Good luck.
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

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    Well, I hadn't got any easy way of producing sufficient amount of COČ, without making a yeast reactor, so I've gone for the submerging in water. I'm glad that I did too, as the moss/rock is teaming with wildlife!

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    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    Repeated soakings in water & possibly (if that doesn't work well enough) a quick & light dose of one of the "less volitile" insecticides, followed by a rinsing & soaking in clean water to wash it out, may be enough to kill off the bugs & still leave the moss in a happy state.
    While most plants can deal with such a treatment, test a small portion perhaps, as different mosses are a bit more sensitive than most plants.

    IMO, the bugs should be either killed off or made uncomfortable enough to leave (like the drowning in water does) before the moss is affected. But do use care. (Again, mosses are sometimes real sensitive.)
    I don't know where you plan to put the rock/moss, but setting it in a large tray of water may be enough of a barrier to prevent any remaining bugs from making it into your other plants or home.

    Good luck, and be sure to show us pictures if you get a chance.

    PS: The hardest part about growing mosses that I have had, is giving them the cool, damp, well lit but not sunny environment that they seem to want on a consistant basis.
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

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