Little white speck in the saucer

luvioletsFebruary 9, 2008

OK, so now I have a plant that is depositing little white specks in the saucer. I looked at the white dots with a magnifying glass and one of them was moving! I think I might have soil mealybugs. I have not taken the plant out of the pot yet - not sure if they could be seen in the soil without the help of a magnifying glass. My fingers are crossed that it seems to be limited to one plant since it's been isolated from the rest of the collection for 2 months. I do not see any specks on the leaves.

My question: Will Neem oil work or should I go right to Marathon? If Marathon is the solution, can it be purchased in a small quantity instead of a 5 pound bag?

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Don't lose your cool, it may also be springtails which cause no harm to your plants. Check the roots and see if there are any signs of white bugs in the ball. If so, Marathon is a great alternative. I believe that Cape Cod Violetry sells it in smaller quantities.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 7:45PM
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They can be seen in the soil, attached to roots. they can be found at or below the soil line at the stem of the plant, when you pull the plant out of the soil, you could see cottony webby stuff on the inside of your pot.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 10:01PM
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This sure sounds like soil mealybugs. I would do as the others have suggested. Look at the soil and roots for the sign of cottony webbing that soil mealy bugs leave. If you do find that this is soil meal bugs, I would not take a chance of having them move into the rest of your plants. I would either throw out the plant or cut it off at the top of the soil and reroot the crown. I would also get some Marathon and treat all your plants preventatively. Cedar Creek Violets sells 8 oz. containers of the Marathon. Another product many growers use in their soil is diatomaceous earth that helps to prevent soil pests.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 8:22AM
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robitaillenancy1(zone 5)

Neem oil won't kill soil mealies.

Marathon is also available at Jana at the brats forum also sells in small quantities at cost.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 8:58AM
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"Jana at the brats forum also sells in small quantities at cost."

Jana's on the VR forum, not the Brats :-)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 1:44PM
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Don't panic. I had them before and the marathon worked really well for me. I treated all my plants just in case. I had gotten a plant in trade and it was pretty far gone when I realized it was infected, I tossed that plant, but I had others growing in that tray and I treated them. I only found one other that actually had them. Mostly they come out the bottom of the pot, to spread to other pots. so there is a good chance you have it contained as you said it was isolated from the others so the leaves were probably not touching any other plant either. Where you washing your hands before touching the other plants too?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 9:30AM
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