Root mealies...ugh

breton2July 2, 2012

Hello,

Recently I found a new local nursery which had a decent selection of cold-hardy succulents. I bought over a dozen Semps, Rosularias, Orostachys, Sedum, plus an Opuntia, and an Echinocereus. I have since discovered that many of them have root mealies.... Most of these plants will be going in the ground (PIGged as Rosemarie would say), so I am hoping that natural predators will take control the populations on those plants (I will also be removing as much soil as possible prior to planting). However, some of these plants I had planned to plant in a new trough garden I am assembling, where natural predators will not have much effect. I try not to use insecticides or pesticides in my garden. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get rid of these beasts? I've dealt with regular mealies often ( rubbing alcohol), but have little experience with root mealies. Also, does anyone know how cold-hardy they are, ie. will a winter outside in a shallow trough kill them?

P.S. Returning them is not an option!

Cheers,

Breton

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xerophyte_nyc(7)

Submerge the pots completely into a container filled with lightly-soapy water, let the soil soak thoroughly(15-20 minutes?). The mealies will suffocate, and the plants will be fine - just give them warmth and sun.

The mobile babies may escape, so keep an eye out.

x

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 11:50AM
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breton2

Oh, that is great to know Xerophyte, thanks for the advice! I was afraid I'd be told I'd have to use pesticides. The soaking shall commence today....
Cheers,
Breton

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 12:23PM
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ChemGardner(10a SWFL)

Does the soaking also kill the eggs?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 12:41PM
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xerophyte_nyc(7)

Does the soaking also kill the eggs?

Don't know for sure. All I know is that this method has worked for me. I suppose if the infestation is severe more treatments may be needed a few weeks later. The good thing is that the soaking is safe to do and easy as long as it doesn't involve too many pots.

The reason sucking "bugs" like succulents is because the plant juices have a high concentration of nutrients especially plants that are water-deprived. Plants outdoors should be able to fend off mealies naturally.

x

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 7:14AM
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cactusmcharris

x,

Plants outdoors should be able to fend off mealies naturally.

I'm going to test that myself - two new Semps are going in the ground with root mealies, or would you suggest Dr. X's Root Mealy Treatment first?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 10:11AM
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xerophyte_nyc(7)

Plants outdoors are more likely to be adequately hydrated and healthier, which makes them pest-free! (At least in my neck of the woods)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 7:50AM
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