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  #1  
Old 11-18-2019, 10:15 PM
thefish1337 thefish1337 is offline
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Insecticides Suited for the Indoor Grower
Default Insecticides Suited for the Indoor Grower

Over the past 6 years of growing orchids in my apartment I've realized that my main enemy is spider mites, with the occasional scale and mealy bug every so often. I've tried diy 'natural' remedies, neem/azamax, imacloprid. All of these have drawbacks which were not very compatible with indoor use.

soap/oil/isopropyl emulsions
pros:
-effective on spidermides and other soft body insects
-relatively non-toxic to use indoors
-cheap
cons:
-requires regular and regimented applications to rid plants of mites
-non-systemic
-improper detergent type or concentration can cause phytotoxicity

neem oil /azamax
pros:
-systemic
-fairly cheap
-relatively non-toxic to use indoors
cons:
-smells terrible and may cause divorce if used indoors
-over-application can cause root burn or phytotoxicity
-requires regular and regimented applications to get rid of spider mites
-leaves an oily residue if using neem oil

imidacloprid
pros:
-very persistent systemic
-fairly cheap
-works on pretty much every bug
cons:
-toxic to humans, pets other animals
-persistent if not exposed to UV
-supporting the global insect collapse
-basically dont be an idiot and use it indoors

None of these methods were satisfactory to me, they either caused phytotoxicity if used too often, smelled bad or were just too toxic to use indoors. Turns out that a couple of products- primarily marketed towards organic cannabis growers who need to pass stringent testing on the product for residues finally have solved my pest problem. I'm hoping to get the word out to other primarily indoor orchid growers because I haven't seem them suggested and after almost 2 years of testing I feel confident in suggesting application regimes that I have observed to not kill my plants and have greatly reduced the pest burden on my collection. Even better they smell great, evaporate fast and leave minimal residues.

Products:
method 1 pps
Method 1 pps – Growth Efficiency Technologies
lost coast plant therapy
Lost Coast Plant Therapy in 12 & 32 ounce, 1 and 2.5 gallon sizes.

Both products have a similar approach but differ slightly in their formulation- they are emulsions of peppermint oil or additional essential oils. There is a lot of research on peppermint oil as an insecticide so in case you think that this is some hippy dippy crap you can read the research yourself here: Google Scholar. Each product has their own angle on utilizing the insecticidal and fumigant qualities of peppermint oil- lost coast plant therapy contains soybean oil for increased insect suffocation, and method 1 pps contains rosemary essential oil and the ester of isopropyl alcohol which offers additional insecticidal properties.

Either way both products have solved my indoor pest problems in a way that is suitable for my pets, me and most importantly my wife. Not only do they have both contact killing ability and mildly systemic insecticidal properties, both products evaporate fast and can be sprayed in excess and at any time of the day without phytotoxicity** AND make your home smell like peppermint. Tough pests like russet mites may require a more concentrated solution and/OR you an add 1 oz/gallon 91% isopropyl. Not only that but the essential oils also possess some fungicidal and antibacterial properties.

here are some regimes that I have tried with great success on my orchids and houseplants. USE DISTILLED OR RO/DI WATER TO MAKE YOUR SPRAY.

removing spider mites:
spray until all surfaces are dripping
apply every 3 days for 2 weeks

scale/mealy:
spray all surfaces until dripping
root drench if root mealies are suspected
repeat weekly for a month

killing thrips:
spray until all surfaces are dripping
apply every week for a month
if thrips are in media a root drench can be applied with no damage to roots

killing fungus gnats:
gnats will die on contact with spray
soak media with working strength solution

I have not tested on other orchid pests because these are what lives around me. I know that caterpillars, leaf hoppers may require stronger solutions to kill them according to the maker of lost coast plant therapy.

** dont spray over 85f

Anyways just hoping to get the word out to others who may have similar constraints and indoor orchid collections. Its hard to get away from regular spraying without using something really toxic like imidacloprid and these products are the most effective and least toxic insecticides I've found. I think most people would be surprised at how effective a bi-weekly spraying program is at reducing their overall pest burden even if they don't notice an active infestation. Spider mites are pretty much everywhere and even if you don't see them out of control there is a good chance you have some in your collection especially in the heart of winter with low humidity.
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2019, 02:52 AM
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What pets do you have? Imidacloprid is fairly toxic to cats, but not to dogs. The commercial flea control products "Advantage" and "Advantix" contain imidacloprid, for topical use and ingestion respectively.
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  #3  
Old 11-19-2019, 07:30 AM
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Your combining of neem and Azamax makes me think you don't know what Azamax really is. While it is a concentrated form of the active ingredient in neem oil, that's where the similarity ends.

It has an odor, but it is quite mild and nothing like the "rotten onion" smell of neem oil.

Neem oil - being an oil - can lead to burning and/or flower loss if applied when plants are warm. It can also saturate the velamen, resulting in root burn. Neither is true of Azamax.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:45 AM
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SouthPark SouthPark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefish1337 View Post
soap/oil/isopropyl emulsions
pros:
-effective on spidermides and other soft body insects
-relatively non-toxic to use indoors
-cheap
cons:
-requires regular and regimented applications to rid plants of mites
-non-systemic
-improper detergent type or concentration can cause phytotoxicity
I use a product available here called 'Yates Natrasoap'. Works well for spider mites.

Although, I did have a case of leaf-rot on my catasetums - the whole lot of them, soon after spraying the catasetum plants - probably due to the crown region getting too wet - maybe. The rot got stopped in its (their) tracks after prompt application of a product called Yates Anti-rot phosacid.

But - generally, I found Natrasoap - or maybe any suitable soap - is effective against spider mites - keeping their numbers under control for quite a while. I recently purchased Azamax, after seeing Ray mention it somewhere in the forums. It's still in transit right now - coming from United States - somewhere.
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:45 AM
thefish1337 thefish1337 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Your combining of neem and Azamax makes me think you don't know what Azamax really is. While it is a concentrated form of the active ingredient in neem oil, that's where the similarity ends.

It has an odor, but it is quite mild and nothing like the "rotten onion" smell of neem oil.

Neem oil - being an oil - can lead to burning and/or flower loss if applied when plants are warm. It can also saturate the velamen, resulting in root burn. Neither is true of Azamax.
I 100% know what azamax is and its not totally fair to combine but the effectiveness has been similar in my experience with azamax losing phytoxicity and having a slightly better smell. Neither were exceptional in getting rid of the spider mites that tend to migrate to my plumeria when i bring it in for the winter. Azamax doesn't kill on contact either.

---------- Post added at 06:43 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:41 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subrosa View Post
What pets do you have? Imidacloprid is fairly toxic to cats, but not to dogs. The commercial flea control products "Advantage" and "Advantix" contain imidacloprid, for topical use and ingestion respectively.
i have a cat

---------- Post added at 06:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:43 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthPark View Post
I use a product available here called 'Yates Natrasoap'. Works well for spider mites.

Although, I did have a case of leaf-rot on my catasetums - the whole lot of them, soon after spraying the catasetum plants - probably due to the crown region getting too wet - maybe. The rot got stopped in its (their) tracks after prompt application of a product called Yates Anti-rot phosacid.

But - generally, I found Natrasoap - or maybe any suitable soap - is effective against spider mites - keeping their numbers under control for quite a while. I recently purchased Azamax, after seeing Ray mention it somewhere in the forums. It's still in transit right now - coming from United States - somewhere.
this is why I like method 1 pps or plant therapy, they evaporate quite fast and are antifungal/bacterial- I've never had rot problems from absolutely soaking the plants.

Last edited by thefish1337; 11-19-2019 at 09:49 AM..
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefish1337 View Post
this is why I like method 1 pps or plant therapy, they evaporate quite fast and are antifungal/bacterial- I've never had rot problems from absolutely soaking the plants.
Thanks! Sounds good. I searched for Method 1 pps a moment ago, but can't find any from ebay sellers. I was able to order Azamax though ----- just checked, its starting point was Kentucky! It'll arrive anytime now. I will give Azamax a try.

This site here says "AzaMax contains bontanical oils....."

Even though they actually mean botanical oils (and can excuse their mistake), it looks like it will leave a residue. I'll give it a try anyway.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:49 AM
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Here is the General Hydroponics label. Doesn't look like we're talking about the same Azamax.
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