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Old 09-27-2011, 07:47 PM
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Mealy Bugs - Few treatment questions


Long story short: 1. Received infested plants in a trade. (No one here.) 2. Spotted them on succulents in a store where I just bought succulents. 3. Quarantined all my plants.

I have a few questions:

1. If they get into the soil how do you get rid of them? Rinse roots, clean soil and add a treatment to the water?
2. Will neem oil work for surface treatment? If so, is this safe for succulents?

So far I'm surface treating the plants and keeping an eye out for any flying males.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:11 PM
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Xeolyte Xeolyte is offline
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Firstly I always quarantine any new plants no matter the source for at least 4 weeks. I have an area away from everything else and also put a plant I already have that I know is healthy with it as a control of sorts.That's something everyone should be doing - find a place away from the general population of your plants. I've not had that much experience with succulents and mealy bug but for other plants infested I first spray to the dripping point with an insect/disease killer making sure I get the undersides of the leaves and also the soil around the plant and repeat about 4 - 6 days later .. since you are asking about neem oil I'm guessing you don't like to use pesticides so diatomaceous earth might be a way for you to go. Works on any crawling insects.

Once I'm sure they are gone I'll repot the plant, first removing all the soil to where it is bare root then repot with the potting mix I use.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:49 PM
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I admit I haven't been very cautious and oh man am I paying for it. From now on I'll be more cautious.

Thank you for the advice, I greatly appreciate it I'll pick some up when I get some flying bug pot stickies.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:59 PM
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water, dawn dish soap and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle works good.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:01 PM
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RR, how much of each? I have all those on hand I can use that while I attempt to convince my Dad to drive me somewhere to get the DE.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:04 PM
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make the bottle about 3/4 full of water, a few drops of the dawn dish soap and about a capful of the rubbing alcohol. Spray very well then wait 15 minutes ad spray again with plain warm water to take the alcohol off the plant. Repeat every 5 days for 4 applications. Mealies are not easy to get rid of.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:03 PM
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Thanks RiverRock. I've been told the males aren't too bright and can be easily squished. They don't dodge, weave and fly away as quickly as gnats. I'm hoping they are easily caught by sticky traps too.
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:04 PM
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Update:
DE was purchased but won't be used. We determined that there is no place to safely use it and the asbestosis issue is a bit worrying. (Dad has asbestos in his lungs.)

RiverRock's suggestion worked fairly well on the mealy bugs and their numbers have decreased but I think they are still around. I also noticed spider mites, which according to my Dad was an issue that plagued my mom's orchids. With those the soapy water isn't working as well as I had hoped, possibly because of not enough soap?

Also I have a few sprays my Dad bought but I'm not sure they will work or are safe for my plants. One is Safer Houseplant Insect Killing Spray and the other is Garden Safe Houseplant & Garden Insect Soap. I also have Neem oil. Are any of these ok for Succulents and Epiphyllums??
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