Pest problem for new Orchid lover... need some advice

cardarlin(5)October 28, 2010

Ok.. I adopted a few orchids from the store. They were on reduce because they were sick looking. I've done this before and had been pretty successful. Well after having them about two weeks I noticed yesterday what looked like white mold underneath a leaf and up the flower spike. I got a closer look and I see two long antennas moving around and Im thinking I have the white spider mites. They almost look like those potato bugs but they have very long antennas. I moved the two orchids outside ( its getting cold here now in Michigan) to my garage for the night and I checked my other plants they were near and I don't see any other infestations for now. I have palmolive dish soap at the house. Is that something I can use diluted to clean the plants? I hear ppl say dish soap but then some say specific brands. I'm wondering if I should toss them to not risk further infestations to the rest of my plants but they are doing so well and are growing new buds on each plant it seems like a waste. Any advice... Thanks.

BTW, I hate using strong toxins because I have a 15 month old son. Just makes me nervous... so I'm looking for the best homeopathic remedy.

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orchid126(z6, NJ)

It sounds like mealy bugs. Alcohol on a cotton swab will kill individuals, dish liquid and alcohol and water, equal parts, as a spray. You will have to soak the medium too, because eggs lurk there. You will have to treat every few days as they are hard to eradicate.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 3:14PM
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cardarlin(5)

I looked up Mealy bugs.. you are exactly right. It is mealy bugs. The orchids are still in my garage. Not sure if they will survive but I will clean them out today and change out the potting mix. I hope this will help.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 8:09AM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

Try to kill the pests first before you change out the potting mix or you may just infect the new mix.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 3:10PM
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