(Noxious Bamboo Mealybug) Antonina pretiosa ferris infestation

xexorzApril 28, 2009

Hi everyone! Bad news for me - I just purchased my first bamboo (Phyllostachys atrovaginata) and have discovered it is infested with Noxious Bamboo Mealybugs. You can see pictures of them (not on my plants but the same buggers) here:


I was wondering if any of you have experience with this particular mealybug and have any suggestions for eradicating them. I would like to avoid the pesticide route as I plan on eventually consuming the new shoots from this plant once it matures and don't want to start off by bombarding the area with toxins... if possible...

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!


George the Bamboo-Noob from New Jersey

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I didn't find much online, other than that it generally doesn't kill the bamboo, but can mess it up some. I just bought 2 10 g containers (6' tall) of the atrovaginata last fall, and it looks really good, but haven't seen any shoots yet.

I did find this:

"The best treatment we have found at our home nursery is a retail product called Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub insecticide available at Home Depot or Lowe's etc. This product claims to work for a year and seems very effective. There are many other products that can also be used if you have your own favorite insecticide for Mealy Bugs. The "Bayer" product is a systemic so takes awhile to become effective. In the meantime...visable Mealy Bugs should be sprayed with any good insecticide soap. The soap should be applied directly on vi sable Mealy and repeated when new Mealy's crawl form their shelter under culm leaf. If carefully done, the culm leaf can be peeled away from
plant slightly to expose Mealy for spraying."

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 3:05PM
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Thanks for the advice!

Just as an FYI this is what I did and it, amazingly, seems to have worked!

I applied regular vegetable oil and water mixed with a smalll amount of regular dish soap (liquid dish soap, like palmolive - a few tablespoons per gallon and 2 cups per gallon vegetable oil)...

Warm to hot-ish water mixed really well. I mixed the soap with the oil first then with the water.

I sprayed it on really heavy.

It has been several weeks now and no signs of mealy bugs! I will re-apply soon to get rid of any stragglers and will update as time progresses.

My first shoots are coming up now which is pretty exciting!


    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 8:19PM
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Welp the bugs survived the oil so I eventually decided to use some non-systemics on them last year just prior to the cold snap. I haven't seen any living bugs on the plants yet this year but am ready to hit them again should some have survived both the spray and the winter. Fingers crossed - I will let you know how things went.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 3:41PM
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After you do spray again, you may want to spray at least one more time in a month or two, even if you don't see any evidence of them.

You may want to reconsider systemics too. I've found that there are many beneficial insects that live in my bamboos (praying mantis for example), and spraying will kill them too. A systemic will only kill the bugs that are feeding off the plant. I understand your concern with wanting to harvest the shoots in the future, but just wanted to point out this other fact to help you weigh the decision.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 8:50AM
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