Root mealybugs...

goddess9(7b)April 29, 2013

I was so proud of myself for evading what seems like the longest list of possible infestations. Very few instances of mealies and possibly one of scale, which I swiftly took action about.

I seemed to have hit the plant pest jackpot. :/

I was watering the Hoyas set to spend a (short) summer outside...and I see some white stuff. I take the plant out of its pot and one of the mealies comes out to say hi. I just sat down after drowning the roots, taking cuttings, and carefully disposing of the soil and water.

I know they can spread fast. I double checked everything they were with but only fischeriana (might explain the aborting leaves) and cv Pinkie (which explains the stalled growth). Any ideas of how to rid them? I took cuttings because I usually prefer to just cut my losses (literally) instead of treating because I have so many plants.

Stupid question, but those cuttings should be free of this threat, correct? help or direct experience would be great.

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Don't panic!! Anyone growing a large number of plants has to deal with this stuff. It's a RPB (royal pain in the butt), but you can handle it.

If you haven't gotten it yet, go get some Bayer's Tree and Shrub. They have it at Lowe's, HD. Mix it two tablespoons to a gallon of water and water it into the soil. If the soil is real dry, I water with some plain water, then immediately after, water with the BATS. Be sure to collect the drainoff and dispose of it someplace where no kids or pets will interact with it, and best not to flush it into the sewer system (which eventually comes back to our water supply - uck!) It will kill all root mealies, scale, and about anything else that threatens your plants' health. If you have a lot of plants, it's not a bad idea to treat them all semi-annually.

Just take them in stride. Don't let them "bug" you (no pun intended...) Bugs are just doing their job. As I tell spiders when I find them... "Stay out of my environment and you can surely die of old age. But enter my comfort zone and you're TOAST!!"

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:44PM
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Thanks, Denise! I need to remember to not flush anything of that sort.

I really wanted to not use systemics, but I guess I will have to!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 12:05AM
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Ugh. I feel your pain.

I once had a plant that wasn't responding to Bayers, which is already a last resort for me. I finally got rid of its root mealies by stripping as much soil as I could from the plant and dunking the whole thing in a bucket of soapy water for an hour. I never saw them again on that plant, and I'd wrestled with it for nearly a year before that.

Anyway I feel your pain. For the longest time this spring I couldn't figure out why I couldn't manage to exterminate my mealies. I was doing my normal routine, which usually works, and it just seemed like one would always surface. First in one flat, then in another. Then, what do I discover? WHAT DO I DISCOVER LAST NIGHT AT 11:21PM (time estimated)?!

I discover a whole population of mealies in my kalanchoe plants!

Just goes to show. You may be watching your favorite plants closely, but you have to watch even the plants you could stand to lose, because they are a part of your ecosystem.





    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 4:39PM
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GG, many succulents are mealy magnets just like Hoyas. I used to grow Kalanchoes and finally gave up on them because they get so leggy in the winter. I still have to watch for them on my Echeverias and Aloes, Haworthias and Gasterias. But I think Hoyas are their favorites! (Yummy, I guess!)

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 5:13PM
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