Mealy bug tragedy

C.J. Teevan via pbs
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 03:07:42 PDT
The alcohol works but it seems to miss the semi-invisible nymphs that turn into fluffies all over the plant.  

Far better is the lowly ladybug.  You buy a little box of them, put them in the refrigerator overnight to make them cold and slow, then sprinkle them in the dark at the base of the mealybugged plant.  They wake up, crawl up the stem, and hunt for breakfast.  They lick everything off the plant, scales and fluffies and little green aphids, like little tiny vacuum cleaners.

My late mother had a terribly infested spider plant, I don't know what the Latin name is but it was covered with scale.  She would periodically dip this thing in a solution of malathion.  It smelled awful, and it did not work.   I on the other hand had an indoor fig tree that I used alcohol and cotton balls to control these things.  When I bought a house, I put the tree outside for the summer and sprinkled it with ladybugs.  Voila.  Problem solved.

The ladybugs are much more expensive than cotton and vodka, or whatever you are drinking that day, but they are really not much if you consider that the ladybugs only need one treatment.

And then they leave.  Of course if you have tainted your environment with insecticides they will instead die.  Hopefully after breakfast.

I swear this works.

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 3:03 PM, Tim Eck <> wrote:

For crinum, hippeastrum, and other amaryllids in active growth (or when they
should be), I mix per gallon of water:
0.5 fl oz (15cc) bifenthrin
1 tsp (2cc) dish detergent
Soluble fertilizer
Periodically, I spray this in the center of all the plants, drenching those
with leaves and those without.  Bifenthrin is not systemic but persists on
the leaves and in the soil.  Do not apply where runoff into waterways may be
a problem.  And if you're not already female, you may want to wear gloves
when handling pyrethroids as nearly everything out there acts as a synthetic

For acute infestations, you may want to buy some orange oil which is sold as
detergent and insecticide.  It is quick acting but fugitive and (unlike the
pyrethroids) completely safe for use around cats and food.  It attacks the
chiton in invertebrates, rather than the nervous system.  Very satisfying to
use on ant infestations in the kitchen, though it doesn't treat the source.

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