Meyer lemon infestation

meyerlemon_2009August 24, 2009

i have a mini Meyer lemon tree in a pot on my deck that's infested with the same hairy bugs that another post-er photographed: evidently it's cottony cushion scale. there's also the sticky "honeydew" substance someone mentioned, and the black sooty stuff on the leaves.

i spent last week out there with a toothbrush and dish soap, brushing all the bugs off. (right now they're in the small brown oval phase- not the hairy white/orange phase)-but they seem to have come back with a vengeance! there are lines of them on the underside of the leaves and along the branches.

what can i do about this infestation? pruning isn't really an option for me as the plant is so small! and since i have to move it inside in the fall/winter, the bugs are a real indoor issue.

thanks for any help!

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justaguy2(5)

Try pure neem oil such as dyna gro sells.

It should take care of the problem. I would suggest also purchasing an insecticidal soap and mixing the two together. The soap not only kills the bugs on contact, but acts as an emulsifier for the oil so it adheres to plant surfaces better.

The soap kills the soft bodied critters on contact and the neem oil sticks around to take care of anything left munching on the plant.

Neem oil is safe for beneficial bugs as it has to be ingested to work and it's safe for humans as it's modes of action don't affect us (it's used in some organic health care products that are ingested and applied to skin).

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 9:53PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Which post are you referring to? Can you paste the link for us?

Someone posted hairy leaves due to giant whitefly. Is that what you're referring to?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 11:44PM
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subtropix

It sounds like mealy bugs from your description. I would take a garden hose and try to wash off as many as you can. Force the water under the leaves. Then I would spray with an insecticidal soup. Repeated applications may be necessary but you can definitely get this under control. Citrus can be prone to a variety of insect pest--especially those that have to be overwintered in warm, dry homes. You can dramatically reduce bug problems in citrus by reducing winter temps and increasing humidity.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 8:07AM
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