Strange White Fuzzy Stuff on my Catt won't die

bamboo_ca(z10 SoCA)October 8, 2009

Hi everyone,

I have some white fuzzy growth on my catt that I can't seem to get rid of.

Someone told me in an earlier post that I should try a fungicide and that fungicides that are safe for roses are also safe for orchids. I took that advice and sprayed it with a mixture of Banner Maxx and Eagle 20EW that I normally use for my roses.

Initially it seemed to slow the growth but not kill or stop it. I have applied it three times now and the newest growth doesn't seem to be retarded by the last spraying. I have another catt sitting next to the infected one and it hasn't been affected at all in the 5 months or so that the disease has been present. I'm wondering what this is and what I can do. Any recommendations?



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xmpraedicta(3b Saskatoon)

Those look like mealy bugs and are disgusting and contagious! Try Safers End All insecticide - that works for me and is not too environmentally damaging.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 6:59PM
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highjack(z6 KY)

If these are mealie bugs the best thing you can do is take a soapy solution and very soft toothbrush and scrub off the dead sarongs on the pbulbs. Mealies and their eggs will happily live in there and continually reinfect your plant.

After the bath, treat the mealies every 5-7 days with alcohol or insecticide for a month. This will eliminate any stray eggs the bath didn't eliminate.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 7:31PM
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bamboo_ca(z10 SoCA)

Thanks...I'll try it.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 8:04PM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

Agree with Calvin and highjack as to mealy bugs. Be sure to treat the medium also as eggs like to hide there and keep hatching and sending bugs to the surface.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 2:50PM
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bamboo_ca(z10 SoCA)

Yeah, I tried cleaning them with soapy water and a toothbrush and followed up with some alcohol. So far so good. Today I went back and started cleaning some more under the dead sarongs. I found lots in there too. I was amazed how much was hiding under there. There were more under the sarongs then on the exposed surface of the plant. I am very excited now because my Catt 'Waiomao's Satin' bloomed six wonderfully fragrant blooms so far despite all this infection. So now I wonder how it will do without infection next year.

I will change the bark medium soon since I have to divide this catt anyway. I have never done that before so that should be fun too. I'll keep cleaning this catt regularly (every 5 days) until I divide it in about six weeks.

Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 4:24PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

You have Boisduval scale. I like the the sentence on one site " not something that you would want in your orchid collection".

Hard to get rid of.....a never ending battle especially on some Genera such as Cattleya.

Anyway lots of info on the net, just google Boisduval scale.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 6:37PM
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bamboo_ca(z10 SoCA)

You are right arthurm...I researched your suggestion as to my infection and the description/pictures on the web match what I have perfectly. Thank you for your keen observation, however I am wondering whether the remedy offered in this thread by Brooke will work for Boisduval scale? Any ideas?


    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 6:26PM
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sweetcicely(S7 USDA9 No.CA)

Hi Chad,

My scale were cottony scale, but all scale are noxious. Brooke's remedy should work fine, as will a similar routine with 70% alcohol (rubbing alcohol). Persistence is important, and I personally believe that the repetition period of 5-7 days is much safer than a longer period between treatments.

It is also important to isolate infected plants from all others for several weeks after the last scale is seen and to continue checking for a resurgence of the dogged critters.

Below is a link to several orchid culture or disease videos, including an American Orchid Society vid. on identification and treatment of Boisduval Scale (second to last video).

Here is a link that might be useful: Boisduval Scale & other Orchid Videos

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 7:13PM
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bamboo_ca(z10 SoCA)

Thanks...I'll look them over and I'll keep after the disease with alcohol and soap.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 7:17PM
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sweetcicely uses a key word in her last post,


Mealies/scale -- a nuisance to the human orchid grower. Don't give 'em a chance! KILL!!


    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 2:14PM
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You will not win the battle against Boisduval scale with soap & alchol. IMO this is the worst of the orchid ememies. You need to bring in the BIG guns for this pest. Merit & Enstar is what you need & and a retreatment regime. Good luck and be vigilent.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 10:17AM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

I agree with bluesky1. I tried to treat scale and mealies with soap and alchol and I was fighting them for almost a year. I finally got Bayer Advanced Rose and Flower systemic spray, used it three times a week apart and they were goine in a couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 1:39PM
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bamboo_ca(z10 SoCA)

I will keep your recommendations about using synthetics in mind if the alcohol and soap don't work. So far there are no signs of the infection--I know its only been a week. If the infection continues to return after 6 weeks of treatment, I think I'll try the systemic spray.

Thanks for the suggestions.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 6:32PM
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