Mealybugs on Paph. Magic Lantern, pesticide options?
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  #1  
Old 10-27-2018, 09:04 PM
CROrchid CROrchid is offline
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Mealybugs on Paph. Magic Lantern, pesticide options?
Default Mealybugs on Paph. Magic Lantern, pesticide options?

Hi everyone,

This spring I purchased a Paph. Magic Lantern from an online orchid shop, the plant seemed healthy and well developed. Sometime in the middle of the summer, I noticed a whitish clump on the backside of the leaf (where the tag with the hybrid's description touches the leaf), it was cca 2mm in diameter. At the time I just removed it thinking it was some fiber that got stuck onto the sap. Anyway, moving forward, the plant has been doing very well, it's not a turbo-fast grower like Phals, but one new leaf has completely grown out and another one is currently growing.

Now, a week ago, while watering the plant, I took a look at the backside of the leaf and noticed three small bugs, approximately 1mm in length which seem like long-tailed mealybugs to me (photograph below). I have removed them immediately and started inspecting the plant...that is when I removed some additional 6 or 7 smaller bugs (maybe 0.5mm in length, barely visible) which were hidden in between the leaves and very hard to reach. I have also removed one from the rim of the pot itself. 2 days later I removed an additional tiny one. Now for the last four days, I'm observing the plant everyday and don't see them any more.

Anyway, my plan is to drench the pot in systemic pesticide, then again in two weeks..this should allow the plant to absorb it and poison the sucking mealybugs and newly hatched ones if they are crawling somewhere where I don't see them yet. Afterwards, I'd repot the plant in new media and a new pot (not sure if it's the best time to do this, but the plant is in active growth, I guess it should handle it?). I have on hand imidacloprid in water dispersible granules and thiacloprid in liquid solution, which one would you recommend?

Oh and one more thing, I have two small Paph. malipoense which were close to this plant (on the same saucer), now I have moved them away from the infested plant. I have been checking them extensively, both on the undersides and between the leaves and have not seen any signs of mealybugs, not even the tiniest ones. I have also repotted one of them some two weeks ago, and while I did not inspect the roots too carefully, there seemed to be no obvious signs of them on the roots. Should I be drenching them in pesticide as well or better to wait and see if any bugs show up first (I know imidacloprid is supposed to have low phytoxicity, but these are young plants so I'm a bit worried if they'll handle it the same as a mature one)?

Last edited by CROrchid; 10-27-2018 at 09:07 PM..
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2018, 09:29 PM
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Dollythehun Dollythehun is online now
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Mealybugs on Paph. Magic Lantern, pesticide options? Female
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One problem with the granuals is that they rapidly work their way through the bark and out the bottom of the pot. It's quite effective but, I water lightly when I use it. If your plant is in a terrestrial mix, or moss, it won't be a problem.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:50 AM
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Mealybugs on Paph. Magic Lantern, pesticide options?
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Treat the plant with your water-soluble systemic insecticide THREE times at ONE-WEEK INTERVALS.

Most insecticides only kill adults, and the egg hatching time for mealies is typically 5-10 days, so if you wait two weeks between treatments, it is likely unaffected eggs will hatch, the creatures mature and lay more eggs before your next treatment.
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:40 AM
CROrchid CROrchid is offline
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Mealybugs on Paph. Magic Lantern, pesticide options?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollythehun View Post
One problem with the granuals is that they rapidly work their way through the bark and out the bottom of the pot. It's quite effective but, I water lightly when I use it. If your plant is in a terrestrial mix, or moss, it won't be a problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Treat the plant with your water-soluble systemic insecticide THREE times at ONE-WEEK INTERVALS.

Most insecticides only kill adults, and the egg hatching time for mealies is typically 5-10 days, so if you wait two weeks between treatments, it is likely unaffected eggs will hatch, the creatures mature and lay more eggs before your next treatment.
Thank you both, I'm still waiting for insecticides to arrive. I have removed one more mealybug in the meantime and have not seen any since but will treat the plant anyway and repot it later (at least a nice chance to put it in a transparent pot!). By the way, the plant is growing like crazy, it seems the infestation was not bad enough to cause it much harm luckily.
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