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Guest Andreas Eils

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Guest Andreas Eils

Morning,

I´m rather fed up now!!! :verymad: Just a few days ago I wrote in this topic http://www.cpukforum...339#entry323848 "thanks God I have never had trouble with root mealy bug so far and hope this will remain the same!"

What do you think I have discovered yesterday evening?! ROOT MEALY BUGS in my Lecanopteris terrarium!!!!! :eek: How funny is that, eh?! I am cursed I believe!! I have approx. 5 cm of water at the bottom of the tank and I wondered why are there so many white "ellipses" on the water. Could be springtails, but then they would be very large springtails! A closer look brought clarity! http://de.wikipedia....=20070126160621 Obviously these critters have started a major offensive all across Europe, huh? Watch out for them, people! You could be the next victim resp. your plants!

Yes, why have so many of them been resting on the water surface? Do they need a certain level of moisture in the soil? I let the soil of my Lecanopteris (long fibred sphagnum, perlite, Agrofoam, lava rock pieces) become relatively dry before watering again. Yes, and the www says root mealy bugs have a fondness for ferns (among others)!!! No question that immediate action was requested!

I took all pots from that terra and poured their soil with Dimethoat - like described in the topic I linked to. Finally I have become the guinea pig to find out how well plants tolerate a Dimethoat drench! I have applied a Dimethoat soil drench years ago to a VFT and a Sarracenia. After a week to ten days I had the impression the plants would like to be transplanted. The soil stunk badly and it appeared smeary and the plants looked like they would have declined in growth. And indeed they respond thankfully to the transplanting! In my Lecanopteris terra there is also a Cephalotus which I treated, too. In a week I will rinse all pots thoroughly with water and hope a transplanting is unnecessary. I have transplanted all the Lecas only in June! But you actually never get completely rid of the bad smell of Dimethoat! :-Z

Unnecessary to mention I have also thoroughly cleaned the terrarium of course! :wink:

I´ll keep you informed how the plants reacted on the treatment.

@ the moderators: You may think there are now a little too many threads about mealy bugs/root mealy bugs. But if I had replied in the same thread above (General CP discussion) I´m afraid only very few people would have read the new entry as most likely many forum visitors wouldn´t have noticed there´s a new post. ;o)

Perhaps you can connect my thread to the topic of cpl tomorrow?

Thanks.

Andreas

Edited by Andreas Eils
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Too bad! Good luck with the treatment. I've heard recommendations from Germans about Dimethoat before ... what's the active ingredient, do you know? (I'm sure ten seconds of Googling would give me the answer, but I'm being lazy here!)

Difficult to know what the perfect conditons are, sometimes. Too dry and you risk plagues of thrips and spider mites; too wet and it seems that mealy bugs can become a problem. I had an epidemic of mealy bugs on my Mimosa pudica last year. Nothing would shift them and in desperation I ended up spraying common household Raid insecticide all over the plant. Killed the bugs, and nearly the plant.

EDIT: Uh, duh ... Dimethoate is the active ingredient.

Edited by numpty
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Guest Andreas Eils

EDIT: Uh, duh ... Dimethoate is the active ingredient.

:biggrin:

I use Dr. Stähler´s Danadim (one of the products containing Dimethoat). (Still have an old flask. But Danadim Progress seems to be very much the same.) Usually there is a high humidity in the tank. It is said mites - except cyclamen mites and false spider mites - would avoid humid environments. I´m not sure if it´s also valid for thrips.

It was a bad thrips infestation on my VFT in 2007 that caused me to not only heavily mist the plant with Dimethoat but also drench the soil. Since then thrips never dared to enter my VFTs again. However after the thrips damage the VFT became a victim of a root fungus. (That was after transplanting!) In the end the formerly huge plant never fully recovered and eventually died in spring 2008! :sad:

Too bad you mostly notice there´s something wrong when the pests have already caused severe damage! *hai!*

I really really pray my ant ferns will take it! And the Ceph as well.

Regards

Andreas

Edited by Andreas Eils
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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Andreas Eils

Here´s the report how the plants reacted on Dimethoat as a soil drench.

It DOES slightly harm the plants! You´ll see damages only after ca. two weeks! I have applied this compound to antferns (Lecanopteris), a maiden hair fern (Adianthum capillus-veneris) and a Western Australian Pitcher Plant (Cephalotus follicularis). Some of the fronds of the ferns become brown or at least get brown tips. Even younger fronds die. Lecanopteris balgooyi is the most sensitive species to this application. Whereas Cephalotus doesn´t show any sign of intolerance. All plants are still growing normally. None of them have been killed (so far). I needed to transplant L. darnaedii as it has grown out of its pot anyway. No root mealy bugs have been visible anymore. But I´m not certain they are all gone! The larger pots have to become dry first and then I´ll pour water to the bottom of the tank. Then I´ll see if 'root mealies' will search for moisture again when the soils are dry. ;o)

As a result I´d say: If you have an alternative to get rid of root mealy bugs DON´T use Dimethoat as a soil drench! There are also sticks with Dimethoat to put into the soil. Those release the agent slowlier. That would likely be saver for the plants. Many of the sticks unfortunately also contain fertiliser. But a few products lack of fertiliser. Avoid products called "combi sticks"! :wink: I have found one product without fertiliser called Detia Pflanzenschutz-Stäbchen. http://www.pflanzoth...z-Staebchen.jpg Probably there is a similar product in your country as well.

Good luck when fighting 'root mealies' and other 'mealies'!

Andreas

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