tiny white things on my violet

kamalaDecember 13, 2006

my violet has tiny tiny, like dust motes, white things on its leaves and flowers. They are also on my coleus, on the same table. I'm sure they are insects, since I've seen them move when on the soil. I wash them off but they come back. Too small to be any of the common pests listed on the FAQs. I'd like to use a household product like vinegar or mild detergent to kill them, rather than even Safer's Insecticidal Soap--that's six bucks and Iwouldn't use it on anything else, since I have only three house plants and don't want to kill insects outside. However, the mild soap I used on them didn't kill them, or didn't kill all of them. What to do? Thanks.

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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

Kamala, when you tap the plant, do they fly off and re-settle on the plant? If so, they're whitefly; if not, they're the molted skins of aphids.

Treatment is more individual preference. I spray aphids with rubbing alcohol; I haven't had whitefly (yet).

Good luck.

Korina, suddenly feeling a bit itchy...

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 12:11PM
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robitaillenancy1(zone 5)

If it's white and it flies, it's white fly as Korina mentioned.

If it is white fly, you can try a pyrethrum spray. Chemicals might be acephate, diazinon or malathion but you said you didn't want to spray in the house.

If it is white fly, it would be easier to just dump them all and start again.

White could be mildew. If you believe it is this, paint milk on the foliage and let it stay for a day or so before brushing off.

If it is foliar mealy bug, use Q-tips dipped in Alcohol to get rid of them. You could spray the plant with alcohol and water but then you would need to rince the plant so it won't dry out from the alcohol.


    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 5:17PM
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Thanks, Korina and Nancy. I found out they are aphids, as I said in another posting on a forum--don't remember if it was the African violet one. I read in another thread about using fish emulsion to kill insects. I'm trying rosemary oil with water, which is like Dr. Earth's organic pesticide. Maybe I'll mix in a bit of garlic oil. We'll see.
Kamala, not itchy but insomniac

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 8:21AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Kamala -

there is nothing in fish emulsion to kill bugs. Fish guts.
Do not not know about rosemary.

Out of inexpensive and not really that poisonous things - you can get either Shults 3 in 1 spray with Neem oil - which is a natural product - or lice shampoo from the farmacy.

You can try alcohol - I would not use it straight - dilute 1:3 with water and spray.

Or you can boil some cigarette butts in water, add some soap and spray. This is definitely a free resource. Tobacco is a poison for aphids (humans too). Just be sure you boil them, tobacco can carry a mosaic virus.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 8:22PM
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