Help with mealy bug problem.


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Hi All,

Could anyone gives some advice of how to get rid of Mealy bugs on cacti...for good?

Two years ago we purchased some cacti from a reputable local cacti nursery which we have been a repeat customer for many years. The new cacti didn't show any sign of infestation but not long after they arrived the new plants and nearly all our old collection were infested and we even lost some that had been with us for a very long time. It was clear it started with the new plants.

We have tried various brands of general (supposedly systemic) bug killer spray from garden centres but so far we don't seem to be able to completely get rid of them. At first they look like they've gone but sooner or later (even some months later) they reappear. I guess it's very difficult to find and kill any eggs.

We're getting desperate so any suggestions or secret tips would be really appreciated. Thanks a lot!!

Regards

Gaz

Edited by Gaz
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  • 8 months later...

Thanks for the advice, I see Amazon sell it so I'm going to give it a go. My 2 lithops also had some last year but they've been in quarantine all summer and (touch wood) may be clear now, even so I'll give them a dose to be on the safe side. We thought our cacti still indoors were meally bug free until last week when we found one of the little blighters on a previously uninfected plant...damn!

Just one question, how do you apply the drench? just pour it over the plant and drench the soil? do you then leave it standing in the solution?

Thanks again, anything which will help really is appreciated.

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You never can lost them for good,the came back every year and whit the insecticide that you may use now you can not rid of them.

15 years ago you have match stronger insecticide and can hold under controle,now when you used some insecticide one or two time the mealy bugs become resistant,it s realy a big problem.

Malatine is the best insecticide for this but we can not buy it anymore ,now i use confidor ,it s work good for a few months,best is to use 2 or 3 different insecticide ,never used 2 time at row the same.

In spring i watering whit confidor and before winter i use perfection,when i see some in summer i used some other that i can find.

Hope this help a bit,

Cheers Will

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Got the same problem on some orchids. Spraying with isopropanol kills them on contact but you have to keep repeating as they come back. Abamectin supposedly kills them, not convinced about that yet, persistence and vigilence is probably the only way to rescue your plants.

Anyone tried any biological methods?

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Just one question, how do you apply the drench? just pour it over the plant and drench the soil? do you then leave it standing in the solution?

Yes just pour it over and around, any that comes out the bottom I pour onto the next one.

I think you are supposed to repeat every so many months.

The ones I can see I squash, although some people dab them with methalated spirit on a paint brush, its the root mealy bugs that are my problem,even attack my sarracenia and you dont know they are there until you go to repot or the plant looks sickly.

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Right then, my Provado arrived today so Saturday will be Judgement Day, now they'll see who's the Boss (hopefully!).

Thanks to everybody for your advice. If the Provado doesn't work or the meallies become resistant I shall be giving the other suggestions a try. I'll let you know how I get on.

Cheer

Gaz

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  • 3 weeks later...

I gave them all a good drench before moving them back into the house for winter. Fingers crossed that might be the end of the problem but I'll be keeping a close eye on them.

Thanks all...

Cheers

Gaz

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  • 4 months later...

Be interested to hear a follow up. I had a bad infestation of mealies on my Stapelia, used Provado once a week, for four weeks, but they just didn't die. I pulled the plants from their pots and the soil was packed with the blighters.

I've since taken stem cuttings,and gave those a mighty soak, and a wash down with diluted white spirit. I'm hoping they will survive and root in some fresh pots of media..

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Without wanting to tempt fate I'd say the Provado drench seems to have done the trick. Some of the plants condition had deteriorated to the point I ended up chucking them out. I future I'd probably start by emptying infected plants out of the pot and removing all compost then give a good drench in Provado after repotting.

When you say you used Provado do you mean the drench or the Ultimate Bug Killer spray? I found that, although it is systemic, the spray provided only temporary relief.

Good luck with your Stapelia, mealies are a real nightmare.

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  • 3 months later...

Okay so, when I worked at Kew in the orchid section and even in the cacti section the best tools we had to remove mealy bug was, a paint brush, cleaning alcohol and water. we would wipe the mealy bug of with a paint brush dipped in alcohol and then spray the plants with water so that the alcohol didn't burn them. Don't know if you have tried this already but it does work. It also makes sure the eggs/larvae are killed in the process

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