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  #1  
Old 11-16-2020, 09:18 PM
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spinrah spinrah is offline
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Thrip treatment that is safe around cats
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I was hoping as a new orchid caretaker it would be a while before I have to face down any pests, but today I was walking past one of my white phals and noticed a little insect scrambling across the petals. I was able to catch one and inspect it and after some googling I think itís a thrip. The damage to the petals is consistent with thrip damage and I also see some black specks that are potential ďpoop.Ē

The infestation seems to be in the beginning stages at least.. and Iíd like to get it under control. Unfortunately I canít treat them outside. I am thinking of taking all my orchids to the bathtub and hosing them down.

Is it okay to get the petals wet and to spray insecticidal soap on them? My other issue is that I need something safe for cats. Besides insecticidal soap Iím not sure what else I could use.

Hereís a photo that is likely pretty useless, but I might as well post it since I have it.
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Last edited by spinrah; 11-19-2020 at 01:33 PM..
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:30 PM
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Also I should mention that neem oil is not available for purchase in Canada.
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:46 PM
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The insecticidal soap shouldn't hurt the petals. Another "home remedy" is 70% isopropyl alcohol (especially works well on mealy bugs too) I just put a sprayer in the bottle. Neither of these has any lasting effect... it will kill what it hits. So repeat sprayings will be needed. If you need bigger guns, pyrethrin is very low in toxicity to both humans and pets. (related compounds are in flea products)
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
The insecticidal soap shouldn't hurt the petals. Another "home remedy" is 70% isopropyl alcohol (especially works well on mealy bugs too) I just put a sprayer in the bottle. Neither of these has any lasting effect... it will kill what it hits. So repeat sprayings will be needed. If you need bigger guns, pyrethrin is very low in toxicity to both humans and pets. (related compounds are in flea products)
Perfect, thank you! Is the alcohol safe on petals too?

Can I water the orchids with any of these things, rather than merely spraying? I was thinking of just filling a bucket and soaking my orchids in the insecticidal soap for 10 mins. Or would that be a bad idea?
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Old 11-16-2020, 11:03 PM
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I spray the alcohol on petals to get the mealies in the crevices... seems to do no harm. I doubt that soaking the plants in soap solution is going to do much... beasties like thrips fly around, are small enough to even get through the holes in window screens. just kill them as you see them... in spring, when you can take things outside, you can use systemics and stronger pesticides. Just remember, insects were around long before humans, and will be around when we're extinct. You can keep pest populations down, but you'll never completely beat them.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:23 AM
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I put them in the bath tub and treat with Azamax at 7 day intervals for three weeks. You should be able to order that from Amazon.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:39 AM
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I think I never had thrips on my plants. Maybe they don't like it here.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:57 AM
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Imidacloprid is well tolerated by cats, and is the active ingredient in several topical anti-flea medications. Not sure if you can get it in Canada.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:10 AM
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Spinosad is a really good option, its produced by bacteria and is very safe. I brought in a bunch of dahlias from my garden that turned out to be holding an army of thrips. I put all my plants in the bathtub and filled up a watering can with the recommended dose. 3 treatments 5 days apart and they were gone.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:26 AM
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Thanks so much for all the suggestions! I looked each of them up to see if they are available to me and unfortunately there doesnít seem to be a whole lot of good news.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollythehun View Post
I put them in the bath tub and treat with Azamax at 7 day intervals for three weeks. You should be able to order that from Amazon.
Doesnít look like I can find this available in Canada and I also stumbled upon some information about how itís banned in Oregon because of pesticides not listed on the label:

https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/...ies/AzaMax.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subrosa View Post
Imidacloprid is well tolerated by cats, and is the active ingredient in several topical anti-flea medications. Not sure if you can get it in Canada.
Nope, looks like its use is very restricted here and I wonít be finding it in any local grow shops soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefish1337 View Post
Spinosad is a really good option, its produced by bacteria and is very safe. I brought in a bunch of dahlias from my garden that turned out to be holding an army of thrips. I put all my plants in the bathtub and filled up a watering can with the recommended dose. 3 treatments 5 days apart and they were gone.
It seems that spinosad is currently under review by our government and not available for purchase.


Thanks anyway guys! I think I will give some Saferís soap and isopropyl alcohol a shot. Wish me luck.

Last edited by spinrah; 11-17-2020 at 11:31 AM..
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