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 Mealy bugs - time to go chemical advice needed.

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Walker87
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Number of posts : 298
Location : Melbourne
Registration date : 2014-03-01

PostSubject: Mealy bugs - time to go chemical advice needed.   Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:49 pm

Hey folks!
So I have gotten off relatively Scott free since I started collecting cacti however it would seem my luck has run dry and in recent weeks I have been inundated with mealy bugs. Not just a couple but an absolute invasion!
At first I would just squish them but their number are growing faster than I can squish.
They have been laying? These fuzzy white patches which are full of hundreds of baby mealies.
I'm tired of squishing them and am at the point where I just want to poison the little (insert a variety of expletives)!
I saw a video on YouTube which showed using a systemic pesticide that went into water and then you just soak the pots and bingo bango your good for the next few months, problem is the only ones I can find are spray on versions which I do not want to use.
Any ideas as to where to find the one that goes into water and then through the roots rather than the spray on ones?
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SneakyCuttlefish
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PostSubject: Re: Mealy bugs - time to go chemical advice needed.   Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:32 pm

I have had extensive problems with mealy bugs in the past. By the sounds of it, it is a bad infestation. This is what I did to clear mine up for good.

Make a big bucket of confidor/water mix and soak every pot in your collection. This will dramatically reduce their numbers to a manageable level. Be sure to soak the entire soil and if possible the cactus too.

Next, make up a spray of Faicam and spray the ground/floor, tables/stands etc. Anywhere ants can climb onto your pots. Ants are the biggest spreaders of mealy and other diseases. One spray with Ficam will roll the little bastards and keep them out for months. A word of caution though, Ficam is very potent. Don't spray your self or your plants. Anything with a skeleton on the outside is going to die, fast. I never realized how many centipedes came into my greenhouse at night until the morning after I sprayed with this stuff. They were still there at sun up. Dead.

Follow up spray with Confidor once a month.

Once the infestation is under control you can consider introducing predatory mites and insects to keep them at bay.

This worked for me and I have had no mealy issues for quite sometime now.

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hydrophobe

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PostSubject: Re: Mealy bugs - time to go chemical advice needed.   Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:16 pm

Those things are the worst...

After coming back from a 3 week Christmas holiday in Queensland I found those accursed things crawling all over my cacti, and just about every other plant on the veranda as well and a few garden plants to boot. I tried several remedies to get rid of them but in the end the simplest and most effective solution was a pesticide using the commercial name 'Resolva' which you can get from bunnings in granule form. You just poor a small amount of granules in each and every pot, and any other plant for that matter that you even suspect may harbour mealy and it will kill the buggers quick smart and being systemic it will also protect the plants for weeks. I did an application of it early this year as a precaution, just as the cacti started to grow (as it contains some fertiliser to help with uptake) and have had zero bugs sighted. This is a very welcome relief as I lost 5 cacti inc 3 astros as a result of the first mealy invasion.

I would caution it is nasty stuff so keep it away from vegetables and anything flowering as it can harm insects (obviously) inc those feeding on the flowers like bees and moths.

On the bright side if you have any sucking pests it will get rid of them as well.

Regardless of what option you choose, you must go in heavy and carpet bomb everything as you can almost certainly guarantee there will be more infestations you haven't even noticed yet. Only takes one missed pot and those buggers will re-infest everything

Good Luck.
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Walker87
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Number of posts : 298
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PostSubject: Re: Mealy bugs - time to go chemical advice needed.   Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:36 pm

Hey guys,
Thank you for your replies!
Feeling a lot more confident now in terms of managing the invasion.
Will be going ahead with the confidor method but it is going to have to wait for now as its too cold in melbourne to water my cacti.
I did go on a rampage a few days ago with a toothpick and squashed what must have been at least 100 of these little mongrels, it seems to have slowed their attack which is a great relief.
This season has been a really rewarding one in terms of growth and I am not prepared to lose or have damaged plants because of mealy as such the war will continue!
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