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Thread: Finally hit with mealy bugs

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    summit's Avatar
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    Finally hit with mealy bugs

    I was doing my normal routine check for the day and noticed my Fledgling was littered with them. I had a few strays on two other pots but I read around the forums and clipped off dead pitchers/pitchers infected with them. I've read numerous threads throughout my panic and it seems like the conclusion for these pests is that you don't get rid of them. If you take a look here this user even used Orthene and still didn't prevail. Is this just something that once your collection gets it always follows and you just 'maintain' it?

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    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    I contest it can be done in my experience here are some bullet points:


    > The fewer plants you have, the easier it is. The larger your collection the more likely you'll chase the pests around. To reduce this, treat all the plants- at least all within 3' or so of the infected plants.
    > How quickly you address the issue SERIOUSLY can help reduce the chance of it spreading. I know people like to dab alcohol and such, but I feel that can't fully solve the issue and gives it a chance to spread. Unless it's a single plant you got in, and it's out of the soil (so you know it's not a soil infestation as well) then you may be able to do something like that.

    > I like a full on assault. It's the only way I've not had to chase them around and yes... I have chased them around by not being serious about treatment. By full assault, I'm talking about sticking to the treatment schedule. Rotating products within that schedule. Treating even when you think they're gone to make sure you catch any late hatchers. Don't just treat a single plant. I've gotten in the habit of treating 3' in all directions from the infested plant, and if that means half way into another tray I treat that whole tray.

    > CHECK THE ROOTS! Mealy bugs love infesting the roots, and I think this is a main cause of reinfestation. They leave behind this while waxy stuff which repels water so even when you do a drench, it seems to fly right past the infestation and not treat them. If this is the case, I repot. Unpot the plant, clean all the media and dead leaves off and spray the plant and roots well with Neem mix. Allow to sit so it kinda drys on and repot. This should be done before the drench treatments if it's needed.

    So what do I do on Sarracenia for mealy bugs?
    I use 3 products:
    --Neem oil (on contact neem oil based insecticide/miticide/fungicide) I use this when I see live pests that I can access for a quick knockdown. Can also be used to drench crowns for those hiding in there, but likely doesn't reach all of them.
    --Imidacloprid (a nicotine mimic) based product (I've used Bayer fruit, citrus & vegetable but I'm sure there are others) as a drench. You water your plant with this and it is sucked up through the roots where it kills the bugs eating the plant.
    --Acephate based product (I use a Orthene product that's very industrial and a small container is enough for a lifetime. I'm sure you can find a more user friendly product) Use this as a spray, it kills on contact and absorbs directly into the plant where it kills pests eating the plant even if you don't see them. Make sure to spray the whole plant- all sides.

    Make sure you read and follow labels for all products you intend to buy and use.

    Hope that helps!
    Andrew
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    summit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnedarn View Post
    I contest it can be done in my experience here are some bullet points:


    > The fewer plants you have, the easier it is. The larger your collection the more likely you'll chase the pests around. To reduce this, treat all the plants- at least all within 3' or so of the infected plants.
    > How quickly you address the issue SERIOUSLY can help reduce the chance of it spreading. I know people like to dab alcohol and such, but I feel that can't fully solve the issue and gives it a chance to spread. Unless it's a single plant you got in, and it's out of the soil (so you know it's not a soil infestation as well) then you may be able to do something like that.

    > I like a full on assault. It's the only way I've not had to chase them around and yes... I have chased them around by not being serious about treatment. By full assault, I'm talking about sticking to the treatment schedule. Rotating products within that schedule. Treating even when you think they're gone to make sure you catch any late hatchers. Don't just treat a single plant. I've gotten in the habit of treating 3' in all directions from the infested plant, and if that means half way into another tray I treat that whole tray.

    > CHECK THE ROOTS! Mealy bugs love infesting the roots, and I think this is a main cause of reinfestation. They leave behind this while waxy stuff which repels water so even when you do a drench, it seems to fly right past the infestation and not treat them. If this is the case, I repot. Unpot the plant, clean all the media and dead leaves off and spray the plant and roots well with Neem mix. Allow to sit so it kinda drys on and repot. This should be done before the drench treatments if it's needed.

    So what do I do on Sarracenia for mealy bugs?
    I use 3 products:
    --Neem oil (on contact neem oil based insecticide/miticide/fungicide) I use this when I see live pests that I can access for a quick knockdown. Can also be used to drench crowns for those hiding in there, but likely doesn't reach all of them.
    --Imidacloprid (a nicotine mimic) based product (I've used Bayer fruit, citrus & vegetable but I'm sure there are others) as a drench. You water your plant with this and it is sucked up through the roots where it kills the bugs eating the plant.
    --Acephate based product (I use a Orthene product that's very industrial and a small container is enough for a lifetime. I'm sure you can find a more user friendly product) Use this as a spray, it kills on contact and absorbs directly into the plant where it kills pests eating the plant even if you don't see them. Make sure to spray the whole plant- all sides.

    Make sure you read and follow labels for all products you intend to buy and use.

    Hope that helps!
    Andrew
    Andrew thank you so much for that detailed write up! As of right now I've only been able to find evidence of them on 3 plants but I do grow in a very confined area of 3 trays and pots jammed together. I went with Ortho Rose & Flower that has Deltamethrin and Bromovinyl by a recommendation from another grower that got a shipment of Heliamphora infested with mealy and he reported great success. Repotting is something I'm still on the fence about. I'm torn between waiting til winter and keeping up with my Ortho spray until then or unpot and scrub down the 100% for sure infected plants now. Speaking of which when winter does come around I'm going to assume it'd be wise to unpot everything and soak all of the plants (small collection about 15 plants) just for safety. Hopefully you can help me with these next questions,

    - Will I see any negative effect by treating every single Sarracenia in my collection? (spraying not unpotting)
    - Would it be foolish to not unpot them now?
    - And your Orthene, you us ethe concentrate version correct?

  4. #4
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    I've not used that particular product or what those active ingredients are, but what I liked about the ones I mentioned is that each one did a different job. 1-2-3 punch kinda thing. I fought mealies for quite some time on my Sarrs (that's why they've been out of stock for what seems like forever) and I was just playing with treating them with one "solution" or another. It wasn't till I got serious and used all methods at once did I have success (now clear for over 2 years). You can "flip" the pot (you know, support the plant/media in your hand flip it upside down and pull the pot off) to look at the roots and see if you see any mealies in there. That's what I meant by check the roots, not you have to unpot them to check. It's not a thorough check, but will definitely show you if you have a major issue on your hands.
    I have never seen a negative effect on the plants due to treating them with any of the products I've mentioned.
    Yes it is. 97 is the current but in the past I've used 75. They end up going bad way before I can use even a tiny portion of the container since it absorbs moisture and becomes a solid in the container- even in my low humidity.

    lemme look up your stuff...
    deltamethrin is an on contact killer made as a synthetic of pyrethrins which is insecticides made from chrysanthemum flowers.
    bromovinyl oh, I don't think that's 2 active ingredients. I had a hard time finding that, so I looked up the label. It says 2 really long lines and 0.02% so I think that's still part of the name for Deltamethrin. It says it keeps killing for 4 months, so maybe the rest of that stuff in the name is some "sticky" solution to hold it in place? I'm really not sure. But on their website it says there is only 1 active ingredient under product specs. https://www.ortho.com/en-us/products...wer-ready-use#
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    I flipped over the 3 pots I've seen mealy bugs on and I wasn't able to find anything on the roots and those pots were root bound so I was seeing a lot. Perhaps a good sign? Can the mealy bugs I see on the rhizome become root mealy bugs? I wasn't able to flip over my 1.5G pot of AS but I did see one or two ants on the media.. although the plant shows no signs of mealy.

    I've been talking with Mike Wang and he's suggesting a hot water dunk for the plants. His words were "Length of time under hot water will vary: I've killed plants having them sit in hot water for too long (maybe 2 minutes), so experiment with less desirable plants first. Some plants can tolerate hot water longer than others, depends on whether it's a strong, thick rhizome versus a small, tiny seedling, etc. Also, a mature plant near death will tolerate much less heat exposure compared to a plant that's infested but still overall healthy. Temperature-wise, it should be just hot enough for your hand to tolerate it, but just barely. What temp? I don't know, never measured it, but I should start taking notes. Whatever hot water comes out of the faucet is what I use, it's steaming hot but not hot enough to burn my hand. I don't pre-boil water, but that could work once we get the exact temperature down."

    I'm still trying to figure out my best method until winter though. I might lean towards the alcohol and q-tip method combined with my spray until winter and then do the hot water dunk and a soak in your 97 concentrate. This is my first real problem with growing in years and it's pretty low blowing. A side note, does this deformed pitcher on the AS look like something caused by mealy? If so then this pot that I couldn't flip may have root mealy..

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  6. #6
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    Yes, they can migrate to the roots, I think that move is more common over winter but not actually sure.
    I don't know anything about hot water dip, I've never heard of it. It doesn't sound like something I would do unless I was to the point where it was that, or tossing the plant because nothing else had worked.
    If your spray works on contact, I wouldn't think the qtip thing would be necessary. If you do see live ones cruising around I would say your spray isn't working and either reapply or try something else.
    There is no reason to wait till winter to "give it hell" lol Since you've already got a contact killer on board, there is no reason for the orthene since that is a on contact killer as well (spray not a drench). But I think I would go ahead and add a Imidacloprid based product to drench it in. (I think you think drench means soak- that doesn't mean unpot it and soak the plant in it.) A drench means you mix up a lot of it, and you drench the soil with it, essentially water the plants with it and let it sit in the tray with the left overs. The plants will drink that and the bugs that bite the plant will ingest it. That will get the ones that are not walking around the spray you already did.

    Oh, and no. I wouldn't say that leaf is evidence of mealy.
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    summit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnedarn View Post
    Yes, they can migrate to the roots, I think that move is more common over winter but not actually sure.
    I don't know anything about hot water dip, I've never heard of it. It doesn't sound like something I would do unless I was to the point where it was that, or tossing the plant because nothing else had worked.
    If your spray works on contact, I wouldn't think the qtip thing would be necessary. If you do see live ones cruising around I would say your spray isn't working and either reapply or try something else.
    There is no reason to wait till winter to "give it hell" lol Since you've already got a contact killer on board, there is no reason for the orthene since that is a on contact killer as well (spray not a drench). But I think I would go ahead and add a Imidacloprid based product to drench it in. (I think you think drench means soak- that doesn't mean unpot it and soak the plant in it.) A drench means you mix up a lot of it, and you drench the soil with it, essentially water the plants with it and let it sit in the tray with the left overs. The plants will drink that and the bugs that bite the plant will ingest it. That will get the ones that are not walking around the spray you already did.

    Oh, and no. I wouldn't say that leaf is evidence of mealy.
    Oh my goodness that makes more sense once you described drenching them.. I'd picture unpot - scrub - dip - repot. I've already seen a decrease in activity but I'm not getting any excitement two days later. I'm going to do my drench with Orthene 97%.

    So in your opinion, when ants are present at a random point is it an A1 priority to kill the ants since it seems like they're usually going to end up farming some type of pest?

  8. #8
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    lol, nah. If you don't see any pests in around the roots of root bound plants it sounds like you're ok there. Just the spray you're using and a drench should do it.
    Remember, the Orthene 97 is a SPRAY product (unless treating root pest in which you are trying to make contact with). When sprayed it will soak into the tissue of the plant and provide prolonged help right there where it soaks in only, but you already have a product on the leaves which is said to kill on contact. So I wouldn't use the two together, I don't even know if it would work or if the first product would prevent the Orthene from absorbing. That's why I suggested drenching with midacloprid (it's a safer product too) since it will suck up through the roots and work from within.
    Nah, I don't find it super important to kill ants as soon as I see them in fear of them farming. I do look when I see a lot of them to see what they're up to (usually they are feeding off of... I mean, feeding a Nepenthes) but treating the mealy will eliminate the ants farming them. Unless you don't want ants, then you can treat for them with some type of perimeter spray I guess or find the hills and treat them directly.
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