home remedy for scale and mealy bug

ron_tacomaNovember 18, 2008

Here is something you can try. I had my Dancing Girl Ginger get infested with scale, and my Clivia with mealy bug. The ginger produced succulent type growth so it was hard to put the Q-tip to it without breaking it. I applied so much alcohol and neem oil to the clivia I could of floated the pot

Someone suggested to me that I use garlic. I took elepant ear garlic. peeled it and cut the terminal crown off and put it half way in and half out of the media it was planted in. Here it is 3 weeks later no scale and no mealy bug.

I will try this with my next infestation see it it is still successful. I would like some other growers to try it maybe I am on to something.

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Gee, with the scale disaster I have going on, its worth smelling like an Italian Restaurant. Spent early this morning with q-tips and vodka. Maybe some vino would work better.

Painters put two of my cool growers outside without my knowledge. Found them this morning. A nobile I've been trying to bloom for 3 yrs and Howard's Dream - both limp as noodles. They froze. This house painting is killing me and my plants. What a week!

Thanks for the tip, its worth a try.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 2:19PM
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Surprisingly it didn't produce a garlic smell. One of the cloves is sprouting. I must not of cut all the root crown off. But what the heck I will let it go see what happens.
It is a cheap enough recommendation and cann't hurt anything, Go for it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:21PM
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burtonr(NW Continental Europe)

Sounds like a great natural method! I have used with great success a dilute solution of plain old dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Let the mealy bug really have it (along with any scale and aphids that are around too) and repeat daily for a few days. I tried to avoid as much as possible getting any onto the potting medium, but there was a bit of mealy bug there too, so I had to give it a blast. It worked like a charm for me. Even on a hoya. And I guess if you have a natural detergent that breaks down easily, so much the better.
But next time I will try the garlic solution. Let's hope there is no next time, though....

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:31PM
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burtonr I hope there is no next time. BUT!!!! You wake up one morning and there they are. and all you can say is HOW? WHY? Then you go on the attack phase. I told my wife today to pick up a couple more heads of garlic and I am going to stagger them in serveral pots in the growing area. I don't seem to have a problem in the greenhouse only when I bring them to my inside the house growing areas. I biggest problem in the greenhouse is slugs. I am a firm believer in beer traps. My green house uses about a 6 packs per month.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 8:48PM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

I put this recipe on the earlier thread. It's a recipe from another forum created by Brookn. Everybody there raves about it. I've purchased the cinnamon extract but haven't had a need to use it, so I can't say personally how good it its.

Brookn's formula:
10 drops dish soap
1.8 ml cinnamon extract
(about 2t.)
2 C. Tepid water

Use for cleaning leaves, bacteria, fungal infections, bug deterrent, bug and slug killer

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 4:28PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

I like that recipe! Looks very useful.

I've used the Q-tip and alcohol on the plant that has the rare scale or mealy bug. If something is heavily infested (or I am lazy) I'll put the plant(s) in a large plastic bag with a cotton ball soaked in Raid insect spray and seal the bag. It sits sealed for 12-24 hours, in essence a mini gas chamber, and all the insects perish. Open the bag outside or a very well ventilated room.

This method kills mealy bugs, scale, spider mites and creepy crawlies that may be hiding in the pot too.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 8:09AM
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Sheila(8b SW Texas)

OK, I'm armed with garlic, cinnamon recipe (hmmmm, that'll smell much better) and RAIIIIIDDD method. Just let those darn scale/mealies appear again! Thx guys.

HmmmmRon_tacoma.....sure have thirsty slugs, you wouldn't be helping them down the suds??? LOL

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 8:45AM
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whitecat8(z4 MN)

Jane, how awful you lost those plants. Goodness gracious, what were the painters thinking? Well, they weren't.

This was posted on Kevin's recent thread. A commercial grower gave me this recipe:
1 gal. water
1/2 to 1 cup alcohol
1 tbsp. cooking oil, for some reason, Canola seems esp. good
1 tbsp. Dawn dishwashing liquid

For my 1st 2+ years in orchids, when I was still washing every surface of every leaf under tepid running water in conjunction w/ flushing every 3rd or 4th watering, I had virtually no pests except Bush snails. Also had around 100 plants in the house.

Yeah, well... same # of plants, but now I'm lazier and buggier.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 5:21PM
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granniek----no I let the slugs have at it. After a couple of slugs get in the beer it really gets funkey, so you have to change the fluid. I have tried other things sluggo, escargo, etc. and that stuff does work except they keep on eating while they are dying. With the beer traps. they go in and don't come out.
Normally I use isopropal alcohol and then neem oil for scale and mealy and it usually works. the problem I had here was the ginger was such a suclent type plant that you could not get at the scale without breaking the flower stalk. The clivia was infested. I had even repotted the plant and wasked the roots with alcohol and neem. and still they came back. Like I said three weeks after the garlick no more mealy.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 5:26PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Speaking of bush snails: I AIN'T GOT THOSE ANYMORE!! Just to make sure, I did one more treatment of the stuff I was using (can't remember the name now) about a week ago and none showed up dead in my trays. Haven't seen any in almost a year when repotting either.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 6:53PM
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Sheila(8b SW Texas)

Well daaarn if the scale didn't reappear on my fav phal. I cleaned them off, then chopped up garlic. I've got five pieces placed all around the medium under the leaves. I'm anxious to see if this will hold them at bay. If not, on Tuesday, shopping day, I'll pick up both the cinnamon extract and Raid. I AM going to win this battle! This phal is in bloom, so I'm not so sure of the 'gassing' method. Perhaps I'll try that on another plant that's not in bloom.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 9:42PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Alright, Kev,get those brain cells in gear!!! You can't just leave me hanging. What did you use to eradicate those &%$@%$#@ bush snails?!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 6:34PM
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I can't use tap water because of water softener. I have RO under the sink, but it only holds 3 gallons which takes about an hour to refill. I can't wash my plants at all during winter. Painters finally finished Friday and I spent the weekend moving them out of the dark, dry basement. Some are really infested, all have scale except the Phals (go figure?). I did major alcohol washing, scraping. After cleaning the worse ones, I sprinkled Bayer Shrub and tree systemic. The label states it can be used for container plants, water outside and bring inside after they drain. It was 29 degrees outside. I sprinkled, stuck them outside the door, poured water and grabbed them back inside. Heaven knows if it will work or poison the entire family. It was either that or to the trash with them.

Howards Dream (a huge plant) and my unknown nobile both froze solid. They are mush now, but strangely the roots look like they might be alive. Howard's Dream had bulbs 10" wide. I was planning to sell it. So much for that, I trashed it. The nobile I will hold for a while to see if anything pops up. I doubt it but I have sentimental feelings for this plant and I would like to see if anything grows. It was a large keiki taken from a huge plant which grew along the roof of a greenhouse. The owner was a sweet gentleman who passed away this year. I have it 3 years and it made such growth this summer, I knew I'd have flowers. All the canes are mush.

I'd be tempted to try the Raid in the bag treatment, but my feeling is they would all have to be done and there are just too many plants. I'll try the cinnamon treatment.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 11:29PM
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hello, Jane, I am sorry to hear about the infestation on your orchids. here's hoping that you are having success in getting rid of them. it is very upsetting to lose one that is close to having blooms after years of caring for it.
paul, i have poured diluted coffee through the medium and was able to get rid of the snails. the coffee did not harm the plants at all.
i like the idea of the garlic for getting rid of scale. so, granniek, please post an update: interest to find out if your experience is the same as ron's.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 10:03PM
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well here it is over 3 months and no sign of those critters. It kind of neat one of the cloves of garlic has rooted and growing well. I will just let it go. if anything it makes a conversation piece.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 7:04PM
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hello, ron, that is great. i wonder if it would get rid of any other critters. thanks for sharing your experience.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 7:18PM
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Granniek---- I am not chopping up the garlic I am using whole cloves. In a previous post I mentioned that the Clivia which had the mealy I could not get rid of. Had one of the cloves root and it is growing a garlic. My wife looked at the plant yesterday and made the comment that the leaves are really looking good. Stands to reason if you get rid of a sucking insect the plant will start to look healtier.
However yesterday I found two scale on my dancing girl ginger. After 3 months the cloves of garlic are all dried up. I put two fresh cloves in it today but this time I did not cut off the root crown. Maybe that is the answer growing garlic. Don't know but worth while experimenting. with growing garlic in the same pot.
Most of my orchids are in semihydro so I have tried some cloves in those pots. it cann't hurt anything by trying it.
littlem---- I am still a big user of isopropyl alcohol and then a neem oil bath. And that usually keeps things under control. I just had the Clivia and Dancing Girl ginger that I had the problem with. The garlic was something I hear about some months ago and I had to try it.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 6:24PM
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hello, ron, i agree that it would not hurt by growing the garlic. I have a gardenia which is not doing well and i can see what the problem is,. i think i will put in a garlic clove tomorrow and see what happens.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 6:53PM
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Sheila(8b SW Texas)

OK, no more chopped garlic.....I was wondering how often I'd need to change it. Thx for the correction.

Sheila :)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 10:55AM
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littlem 2007====the last time we were in Hawaii we meet this nice lady who worked for the hotel. She had put a gardenia in our room for my wife and I. We brought that cutting home and grew it in my solarium. had it flowering a couple of times then it just died. Couldn't see why, however I understand they are very hard to keep growing. Good luck with yours. .
granniek----- I hope this home remedy works. and if it does, we might be into something. If not the cost was minimal. I sure as heck have spent a lot more money experimenting with different things.. Right now I have 6 LED's over my Brazzia I paid $25 apiece for them on ebay. Those have been up for 6 months and still cannot make a postive or negative decision on their use.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 11:32PM
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Hello, ron, thanks for the words of encouragement. I have been researching led's too. i was wondering if led christmas lights would work. anyways, please post an update when/if you find that they work

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 3:48PM
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I got attacked with mealy bugs and unfortunately didn't know what they were until it was too late in some instances. I tried alcohol and soapy water but what worked the best was moth flakes!!! I took several moth balls, but them in a plastic bag and hit them with a hammer. I then sprinkled them in the bark mix of the orchids. I kept doing this and the bugs were gone!!!!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 1:20PM
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