An orchid is a capricious plant that is often affected by various diseases and pests, including the mealybug.
It is necessary to fight it immediately after detection, otherwise the parasites will quickly multiply and lead to a massive defeat.
In this case, the treatment will be difficult and save the flower will be problematic.
Description of the appearance and photos
The mealybug in the people received the name shaggy louse. These pests are classified as sucking. And although they have small sizes - 3-6 mm, it is easy to notice the parasites on the plant, as they leave out waxy secretions. The peculiarity of the insect in the presence of shaggy surface light shade. In the photo you can see what an insect looks like.
Signs of flower damage
To confuse the attack of this parasite with another insect is quite difficult. Its peculiarity is that after its activity a white coating remains on its leaves, which resembles medical cotton. The next sign of a lesion remains the presence of a glossy wax coating in the places of sucking the juice from a flower. Pest can hit a different part of the orchid - from escape to the flower itself.
Why can attack a plant?
Shaggy lice infects the orchid for the following reasons:
- Wrong watering. Do not over-wet the ground too much or allow it to dry out.
- Lack of hygiene. Orchid should be regularly cleaned and bathed in the shower. If you do not do this, then the flower can be hit not only by a mealybug, but also by other harmful parasites.
- No quarantine for new copies. As soon as the plant was purchased and brought into the house, you should not immediately put it to other colors. A new orchid is to be sent to quarantine for 1-2 weeks to detect existing parasites.
- No windows protection. Very often mealy cherventsy entered the house with dust during a gust of wind. So on the windows, near which there are orchids, you need to hang a mosquito net.
How not to fight him?
There are many recommendations on the Internet about how orchids can be processed. These are various means based on oils. But flower growers claim that such treatment is detrimental to the flower. The reason is that the oil clogs the airways of the culture, as a result, it gradually weakens.
How to process from folk remedies?
To combat the mealybug, use the following folk methods:
- Chamomile decoction.
- Need to take 200 grams of raw materials.
- Pour 1 liter of boiling water.
- Infuse the agent in a dark room for 12 hours.
- After that, filter the broth and add 3 liters of liquid.
Apply to immerse the flower for 20 minutes. Garlic tincture.
It is necessary to pour 5-6 cloves of garlic with boiling water, leave for 12 hours.
The resulting decoction is used for spraying orchids. Onion decoction.
Peel one onion, boil it for 5 minutes, cool the liquid and apply to spraying the orchid.
Broth should cool down completely. You can not spray the orchid with a warm infusion.
Pour 50 g of hot pepper 500 ml of boiling water.
To simmer on the fire for 5 minutes, and then filter, and as soon as the broth cools, then use it for spraying.
We offer to get acquainted with another folk remedy for fighting with mealybug in the orchid:
A mealybug is a rather robust insect for which mechanical processing is not enough. Even if there is at least one larva, it can degenerate a new generation of parasites.
So you should not take the risk, but start to combat pests with the help of the following drugs:
- Fitoderm - copes with adult individuals, larvae, as it leads to their paralysis.
- Aktara - A powerful drug that can destroy the parasites after 4 hours. It is best to add the drug to the water for irrigation. This will extend protection for 60 days.
- Mospilan - this drug can eliminate not only the larvae, but also the egg-laying.
When using toxic drugs do not forget about safety. Treat the orchid only with gloves, and after the procedure, ventilate the room, wash your face and hands thoroughly with soap and water. In case of contact with the eye, rinse with plenty of water.
We offer for viewing a visual video about the processing of orchids by Aktar:
Step-by-step instructions: how to treat a plant for pests
Consider in stages how to get rid of mealybug infestation and cure homemade orchid.
If mealybugs were found on the plant, then the following recommendations should be followed.:
- Remove all noticeable pests.
- Wash away their remnants under the shower.
- Disinfect all surfaces on which the orchid pot was located.
- Remove the flower in a separate place to protect other plants from infection.
This procedure is unpleasant, since it is a pity for the flower growers to remove flower buds that could soon bloom. But it is simply necessary to do this, since pests can hide there. You just need to cut the buds with scissors, and cut the cut sites with activated carbon.
Cleaning and disinfection
- The first step is to remove the roots of the orchid from the pot, and then remove the soil residues carefully from the roots.
- Now is the time to put the plant in a basin with warm water, to which an insecticide was previously added.
- The old earth is to be thrown away, and the fresh one should be placed in a plastic bag and held in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Wash the tank itself with a brush in hot, soapy water.
Prevention of subsequent infection
To prevent plant infection with mealybugs, The following preventive measures must be observed.:
- Just bought a plant must be isolated from the rest.
- To humidify the air near the container with a flower constantly, as these parasites like dry air.
- Water the plant should be regularly, but not allowing waterlogging or drying out of the soil.
- Remove dust and dirt from the plant weekly. Do something in difficult places with cotton swabs.
- Spray the flower as often as possible.
- Promptly remove dried parts of the plant, as it is an excellent breeding place for the pest.
- Do not forget to feed the plant, making nutrient compositions in the ground every 2 weeks.
Mealybug is the main pest of the orchid. It is not so easy to fight it, but you can save a flower if you find the parasite in time and start to destroy them immediately. Using folk remedies, you need to understand that they are effective only at the initial stage of infection, but to cope with a colony of pests under the force of aggressive chemical drugs.
How to identify a pest
Mealybugs - small insects 3-6 mm in size. Their oval body is covered with a waxy coating. In the back are plates of various lengths. The color of insects is white or beige. Small setae along the body, transverse grooves on the back. Pests are mobile at any age, they move around the plant, descend into the substrate, and spread to neighboring indoor flowers. Mealybugs belong to the superfamily of coccides. They are close relatives of the scale insect, another insect species parasitizing on orchids.
Information. The household name for mealybugs is shaggy lice.
In cherovets pronounced sex differences. Males have wings, but they lack an oral apparatus. Adult males do not eat. After mating, they soon die. Wingless females live in large colonies. They have a long proboscis for piercing the plants and sucking the juices. Before laying eggs, females create white, cotton-like bags. On the leaves of plants, they look like bloom, it is determined by the presence of mealybug on the orchid.
The female at the time of the formation of the bag for eggs
Fertile females for the season bring 3-4 generations of insects. The larvae, having appeared from eggs, are actively moving through the plant. They look like light gray fluff. After choosing a convenient place, the larvae stick to the plant and feed on sap. Soon they molt, a more adult individual is looking for a new place. Females can lay eggs in a secluded place near the flower, the larvae find their way to the orchid.
The pest prefers to live and feed in the grooves of the leaf sinuses. Adult females crawl into the buds and flowers of the orchid. With a strong defeat, the flowers are deformed, and marble color appears on the leaves. Mealybug weakens the plant, contributing to the appearance of secondary orchid diseases. In addition to sucking nutrient juices, the pest leaves specific secretions that get inside the leaves and flowers. Parasite digestive enzymes slow down the metabolic processes of indoor plants.
Flower affected by pest
Species of worm
Among the many representatives of the family of worms there are several species that cause concern to lovers of indoor plants.
- Bristly mealybug (Pseudococcus adonidum) - female and insect larvae cause damage to the plant. The body of adults is orange or pink. It is covered with a mealy bloom. Females reach a length of 5 mm, males are smaller. The pest produces a large amount of honeydew (sweet secret) that causes the appearance of fungus. This species is viviparous, its representatives are actively crawling around the orchid.
Bristleworm on orchid leaves
- Seaside mealybug (Pseudococcus affinis) - this species is most common. The trunk of the female is of elongated shape, the color is pinkish gray. On its surface, a mealy patina is clearly visible. Males grow to 2 mm, they use wings to move. Females do not fly, their length is 3-4 mm. Well developed legs allow them to search for the best places for feeding and laying eggs.
- Citrus mealybug (Planococcus cirti) - the color of the pest ranges from yellow to brown. The body is covered with a waxy coating; thick bristles are visible on the sides. Females leave behind a sticky sweet pad.
Information. More than 2000 species of mealybugs have been found in the world. Most prefer tropical latitudes, 300 species are found in Europe.
The causes of the pest
The time of pest activity falls on the winter period. For natural reasons, the plant receives less light. This leads to abnormalities in metabolism. A healthy, well-kept flower rarely becomes a target of parasites. There are several causes of the bite:
- failure to comply with the temperature regime
- low air humidity
- abuse of nitrogen fertilizers
- high soil moisture
- late removal of dead leaves and flowers.
All of these problems lead to a change in the concentration of the plant's juice. Such changes contribute to a sharp increase in the population of parasites.
The photo shows the external signs of the appearance of a mealybug in the orchid:
Larvae and adults prefer to select areas of succulent greenery for sucking - young shoots, leaves, buds. White cotton wool on the surface of the plant, which creates parasites, can be seen with the naked eye. In addition, a characteristic sign of the appearance of the worm - sugary discharge. If a citrus scarlet has settled on the plant, then the root system is also affected.
Methods of struggle
Pest control is quite a complicated process. In adverse conditions, they are able to emit a large amount of wax that protects the insect from the harmful effects of chemicals. Fibers in the form of wool protects the eggs of the worm. The plant with traces of pest activity is immediately isolated. Measures to combat the mealybug in orchids are selected in accordance with the degree of distribution of parasites.
Wiping leaves - a mechanical way to fight
If insects settled on peduncles, buds or flowers, they will have to be cut. On some species of orchids, pseudobulbs are covered with dry scales. All growths must be removed. The bulb itself is wiped with a cotton swab moistened with alcohol. This will help to remove the larvae, which are poorly visible due to the small size.
Council With significant damage to the plant, cutting the leaves is recommended. This unpopular event spoils the appearance of the orchid, but saves her life. Do not worry about the loss, the leaves dry and die off naturally in 2-3 years.
Begin treatment with mechanical collection of parasites. Worm and his cotton buds are removed with tweezers and destroyed. The place where the parasite sat, wipe with a disinfectant composition, for example, alcohol tincture. The plant should be thoroughly washed. This will remove the sweet pad and a large number of pests from the leaves. The leaves are wiped with a cotton swab with soapy water.
Council Plants that were close to the infected flower should be carefully examined during the month. At the first signs of a pest proceed with treatment.
Folk remedies for mealybug
To destroy the pest prepare a different composition based on soap, alcohol, oil, various tinctures. To prepare the soap solution, you will need:
- 20 g of ground laundry soap,
- 1 l warm water
- tablespoon of alcohol.
Ingredients are mixed until completely dissolved. Means wipe the leaves of the plant. Particularly carefully pass the place where the worm's cocoon was located. For spraying plants use horsetail infusion. The product is purchased at the pharmacy, before applying it is diluted with water 1: 1. Garlic infusion is a good remedy for many types of parasites. It is prepared simply:
- 3-4 large cloves of garlic are passed through a crush or crushed with a knife,
- 0.5 l of water is brought to a boil,
- garlic is poured boiling water, left for 4 hours.
Folk methods of struggle
The finished tool is filtered. Liquid is applied to the plant with a brush. To avoid re-infection, you will need to handle window sills and pots with soap and water.
Attention. If ants appeared near the flowers, attracted by the sweet paddy, it is necessary to destroy them. Insects are carriers of mealybug larvae.
If the defeat of the houseplant turned out to be strong, and the treatment with folk remedies did not help, resort to insecticides. Chemicals are most effective against young animals. After release from the eggs, the larvae do not have a wax coating, therefore they are defenseless against the toxic effects of the preparations. The difficulty in dealing with the mealybug is that insects with different stages of development are on the plant. A single insecticide spray will not fix the situation. To destroy the parasites will have to perform 3-4 treatments at intervals of 2 weeks.
A toxic substance sprayed on an orchid penetrates the inside of the plant. Together with the juice it enters the body of adults and larvae, causing their death. Some types of pests lay eggs on the roots. For their destruction the drug Fitoverm is used. Organic insecticide is safe for humans, and insects die a few hours after poisoning. The recommended concentration for indoor flowers is 2 ml per 200 ml of water.
Preparations against the worm
The better to process the orchid from the mealybug? The choice of drugs is large enough: Aktara, Mospilan, Aktellik, Calypso. When using the product in the form of a spray, it is necessary to consider the recommended distance for spraying. Otherwise, the composition may damage the orchid leaves. Well-proven drugs of systemic action, such as Aktara. The insecticide is dissolved in water according to the instructions, then used for spraying and watering the roots. The effect of the drug is 1 month.
Attention. The treatment can be considered successful if, during a month during the examination, the worm is not detected.
The most common way of occurrence of pests on indoor plants - buying infected orchids. Before purchasing a flower, you need to carefully inspect, if you have doubts about his health, it is better to refuse this specimen.
To prevent the occurrence of pests, you should comply with the recommended conditions for the maintenance of home flowers. Orchids need adequate lighting, if there is little natural light, you can install a special lamp. It is important to remove dry leaves that parasites like to hide in time. Chervets do not like humid air, create high humidity around orchids. Wipe the leaves of the plant more often. It is recommended to arrange a warm shower for the plants once a month. This procedure will allow you to wash off pests accidentally brought in by the wind. The flower is taken out of the pot, washed the roots, stem, leaves, stalks. After a shower, the excess moisture gets wet with a napkin. Stagnant water leads to the appearance of rot.
What is it and how does it look?
Самки откладывают яйца до четырех раз в год, что в мире насекомых считается показателем высокой плодовитости. Могут образовывать многочисленные колонии, которые способны полностью уничтожить зараженное растение. In the adult stage, the mealy worms stop feeding..
At the moment there are more than one and a half thousand varieties of shaggy lice that have adapted to living in all parts of the Earth. These individuals have only one pair of limbs, the rest are either reduced or completely absent depending on the species.
Watch the video about the powdery mildew worm:
Below you will see how the signs of the disease look in the photo.
Signs of defeat
To confuse this attack with any other pest is quite difficult. After all, the main external feature of the fact that the orchid is subject to the negative influence of shaggy lice is a white fluffy plaque, very much like medical cotton. Another sign of damage can be called the presence of a brilliant wax coating in places sucking the juice of their plants. Mealybug can strike any part of the orchid: from escape to a delicate flower.
Causes of defeat
We list the errors that lead to the appearance of shaggy lice on the orchid:
- Wrong watering. The flower grower either moisturizes the soil too much or, conversely, overdries the soil too much, sometimes forgetting to water the flower or doing it intentionally.
- Hygiene is necessary for all, but it is not respected. Wipe the sheet plates and bathe the orchid in the shower you need to constantly. If you forget about this, not only the mealybug can appear on the plant, but also many other harmful insects.
- Did not arrange quarantine for beginners. As soon as you bring a new plant into the house, do not rush to put it to the others. Keep a quarantine for one to three weeks to identify existing parasites.
- Not protected windows. There are cases when mealybugs in the house were carried by gusts of wind along with dust. Therefore, if you have flowerpots on the windowsill, hang a small mosquito net on the window.
More on mechanical removal
As soon as you find the worm on the orchid, immediately proceed with the following algorithm:
- remove the affected areas of the flower,
- prepare a soap solution (from household or green soap),
- moisten a cloth in the finished solution and wipe the green part of the plant, removing visible hairy lice from it,
- wipe with a cotton swab in hard to reach places (especially in the leaf sinuses),
- to make an orchid a good shower, but before that, check if there are any more bugs left to avoid getting into the root system. (Lice can also suck juice from the roots.)
- Remove the flower from the soil and thoroughly rinse the root system (it is advisable to carry out this procedure several times).
Watch the video about the removal of the mealybug from the orchid:
Chemical means of destruction
This is a very tenacious insect, so often mechanical processing may not be enough. Even if at least one larva remains, it can degenerate a new generation of lice. Therefore, we recommend not to take risks and adopt one of the proposed means:
- «Fitoderm"(Kills both adults and larvae, causing their complete paralysis).
- «Bankol"(Comfortable for use due to the complete absence of odor, the effect is observed on the second or third day after application).
- «Aktara"(Quite a powerful tool that can destroy a pest in 4 hours. Experienced growers recommend adding the drug to irrigation water. Then the protective effect will last up to sixty days).
- «Mospilan"(A characteristic feature is the ability to destroy not only the larvae, but even the egg-laying).
Anyway, any chemistry is toxins, though sometimes weak. Therefore, the use of the above means is necessary only with gloves. After application, ventilate the room, wash hands and face thoroughly with soap and running water, rinse mouth with clean water, and if it gets into eyes, wash immediately with running water.
To get the full effect after treating the orchid with chemicals, put a plastic bag over the flower.
Among the folk remedies are the following:
- Chamomile decoction. To make it, take 200 grams of flowers and the green part of chamomile, fill it all with one liter of boiling water and put it in a dark place for half a day. After this time, strain the infusion and add another three liters of liquid.
- Garlic tincture. 5-6 cloves of garlic pour boiling water and leave for about twelve hours. Strain the resulting mass to spray the orchid.
- Onion decoction. Boil the peeled onion for a few minutes, cool the water and then strain.
- Pepper tincture. 50 grams of hot pepper pour half a liter of boiling water (it is better to boil for five minutes), set aside and then strain.
Some experts advise treating leaf plates of orchids with alcohol. But this should be done with special care, as, evaporating alcohol burns the leaves.
All preparations form an inconspicuous film on the surface of the plant, interfering with the process of photosynthesis.. Therefore, wipe the flower after processing with a cotton swab dipped in clean water. Any treatment should be carried out at least twice with an interval of one week.
How to cure: step by step instructions for getting rid of the pest
Do not expect that the struggle with such an adapted insect will end quickly. Be patient and do not quit what you started halfway through. As soon as you notice a pest on a plant, you should:
- remove all visible parasites
- wash off the remnants of the shower
- treat with insecticide or homemade preparation,
- if necessary, update the soil in the pot,
- disinfect the surfaces on which the flower pot was located,
- remove the orchid in a separate place, protecting other plants from infection.
On the second day you need:
- re-examine the plant
- remove remnants of mealybug,
- apply fertilizer to the soil.
On the fifth day, repeat the treatment with insecticides or folk. Do not forget to fully examine the orchid. On the tenth day, you can again treat chemicals. It will be necessary to feed the weakened plant again..
- Do not forget about the mandatory isolation of the newly arrived plant.
- Moisten the air around the flower pot all the time, these insects love dry air.
- Watering an orchid needs to be done regularly, without pouring it over, but also not overdrying the ground.
- Every week, remove dust and dirt from the crop. It is necessary to do this even in remote places, using cotton swabs.
- Spray the flower as often as possible.
- Get rid of the dried parts of the plant in time, as this is an excellent breeding ground for mealybugs.
- Remember feeding. It should be applied to the ground every two weeks.
We told you all the information about such harmful insects as mealybugs. As you can see, the main thing is to find it in time and start treating the affected plant. Orchid is a very delicate and fragile plant.. And if you decide to get it, get ready for the constant care of this culture and the fact that sometimes there can be trouble, which only you will have to cope with.
Characteristics and types of mealybugs affecting orchids
Despite the name, mealybugs are not related to worms. This insect, and it belongs to the family of hemiptera. In the way of life and some other signs, the worms resemble shchitovok, although they belong to another family.
Externally, adult female mealybugs are a fairly large insect (about 5 mm long on average) with a flattened oval body of white or pinkish color. From above the body is covered with a mealy wax coating. On a circle there are fringe. The oral apparatus is sucking type.
There are a large number of mealybugs. Orchids are most often affected by two of them - citrus and bristly. These are exceptionally fertile insects capable of giving several generations a year and forming huge colonies, completely destroying the plant.
Symptoms of defeat room orchid mealybugs
It is impossible to confuse the mealybug with any other pest. The main sign of its appearance on an orchid is white wax bloom, similar to cotton shreds.
The second important feature is the presence of sticky secretions on the leaves - honeydew (honeydew). Orchid leaves are covered with pale spots formed in places puncture mouthworms of insects. If you do not take timely measures, flower stalks can be affected, the leaves are deformed and the plant quickly dies.
3 mistakes provoking infection of orchids with mealybugs
A healthy and well-groomed orchid is never affected by a mealy bug. These pests sit only on weakened plants, which are improperly cared for.
A critical situation can create the following mistakes florist:
- Waterlogging or drying the substrate.
Failure to comply with the moisture regime reduces the immunity of orchids and puts them on the brink of survival. In this situation, the plants become vulnerable to any diseases and pests.
- Non-compliance with plant hygiene.
Orchids need a regular shower, as well as wiping the leaves with a wet sponge and spraying. In the absence of these procedures, plants are more prone to pests.
- Non-compliance with quarantine for new plants.
Mealybugs do not appear from the air - they enter the house with infected plants or soil. New plants need about a month to keep away from others.
There are also cases when the ants carried the eggs of the insects into the house. In addition, hover larvae are easily carried by the wind. Therefore, the windows where there are indoor plants should be protected by a fine-meshed grid.
Mechanical removal of pests from orchids
Finding mealybugs on orchids, you need to start with a hygienic treatment of the plant:
- trim the affected peduncles,
- prepare a solution of household or green soap,
- moistened with soapy sponge in soapy water, carefully remove insects from leaves and pseudobulbs,
- from the bosom of the sinuses to remove the scarps with tweezers or a cotton swab,
- rinse the orchid well under the shower, carefully removing the pad.
Tip # 1. If mealybugs are found on the roots of an orchid, it is necessary to transplant the plant into sterilized soil.
Means for destroying mealybugs
To get rid of mealybugs is not an easy task. Often, hygiene and mechanical removal of insects is not enough. If you miss at least one stroller, the colony can be reborn. Therefore, it is better to insure yourself and after washing the orchid, apply one of the following insecticides:
All recommended drugs are slightly toxic to humans. However, working with them is necessary only with the use of personal protective equipment. After application of insecticides it is necessary:
- wash your face and hands with soap,
- rinse your mouth with water
- if the drug gets on the skin, quickly wash it off with soapy water,
- After contact with eyes, rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Tip # 2. After treatment with insecticides on the orchid you need to put on the package and hold in this form for 20-30 minutes. This ensures greater efficiency of the applied funds.
Prevention of orchid damage by mealybug
The defeat of mealy bugs is much easier to prevent than to get rid of parasites. Preventive measures include a number of simple, but mandatory procedures:
- Compliance with quarantine for new plants.
- Orchid hygiene.
- Timely removal of dry, wilted and damaged parts of the plant.
- Sterilization of the substrate during transplantation.
- Strict adherence to moisture regime and the obligatory daily spraying of orchids.
To enhance the immunity of orchids and their resistance to pest damage, it is necessary to give potash supplements to plants regularly. You can use such complex drugs as "BonaForte "or"Compo "for orchids.
How to get rid of mealybug on orchids: a daily plan of struggle
If indoor orchids become infected with mealybug, you need to prepare for a long struggle. For the successful destruction of pests need to adhere to the following plan:
- mechanical pest removal
- orchid shower
- insecticide treatment or one of the folk remedies,
- transfer to a new ground (if necessary)
- washing the windows
- preventive treatment of other plants,
- isolation of a diseased orchid.
- control inspection of orchids,
- repeated mechanical removal (if necessary) and shower,
- top dressing with the preparation "Bona Forte for orchids".
- control inspection of orchids,
- repeated treatment with insecticide or one of the folk remedies.
- control inspection
- mechanical removal of insects (as needed) and showers,
- insecticide treatment or one of the folk remedies,
- top dressing with the preparation "Bona Forte for orchids" /
Current issues of struggle with mealybug
Question number 1. Can mealybugs move from orchids to other houseplants?
Answer: They can. These pests migrate easily to Benjamin rubber plants and rubber plants, lemon trees and other home grown citrus fruits, spatiphillum, palm trees, dracaena, anthuriums, and Saintpaulias. There are cases of defeat by mealybugs of cacti and succulents - for example, aloe vera.
Question number 2. What are mealybugs bad for orchids?
Answer: Like all sucking pests, mealybugs deprive the leaf tissue of necessary nutrition, moisture, violate conductivity. As a result, the plant can not carry out normal photosynthesis. In addition, with saliva insects release digestive enzymes that are toxic to orchids. Plants lose their immunity and often undergo secondary infection with various pathogens.
Question number 3. Is it possible to treat an orchid for mealybugs with an oil-based preparation?
Answer: Indeed, there are recommendations to use oil formulations for the destruction of worms. It is necessary to use them carefully, without going beyond the affected area by pests. For example, with a cotton swab dipped in the product, carefully remove insects from the sheet. It is not recommended to use oil preparations on a large area of the sheet. Oil impairs transpiration by blocking the stomata of the leaf plates, if treatment occurs on the lower side, and can cause burns on the upper side of the leaf.
Question number 4. Is it necessary to cut a flower from an orchid, if mealy worms are found in it?
Answer: Of course, it's a pity to cut a long-awaited flower. But this is a necessary measure. To get insects without damaging the flower, it still will not work. Spraying insecticide from a spray bottle will also damage it.
Question number 5. How to disinfect the soil, if the mealy larva larvae have fallen into it?
Answer: First, you need to wash the roots of an orchid. To do this, removing it from the pot, carefully remove from the roots of the particles of the substrate and immerse the plant in a container with warm water, to which an insecticide is added. Old substrate should be discarded, and fresh should be placed in a plastic bag and scrolled in the microwave for several minutes. Wash the pot with a brush in hot, soapy water. After that, cool the substrate and plant an orchid.
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How does it look
The size is about 4-5 mm, oval shape, a cover of white, light brown or pink color - these are the main visual signs of the worm. Insects do not catch the eye, but females spin a mass, like cotton, and envelop it. Pay attention to exactly such shaggy balls.
Under them you can find the pests themselves and the laying of yellow eggs. Among the varieties that are found on domestic plants, distinguished citrus, seaside, grape and bristly mealyworm.
A favorite habitat of insects are flower buds. Often they appear in the axils of the leaves and on their reverse side, on the young shoots. Individuals often settle right on the windowsill, in flower pots and even in the soil. Dangerous can be a plant that is planted in the summer in open ground. If a mealybug is appearing, treatment and prophylaxis may be necessary for all home flowers. In any case, wet processing with a weak soap solution and attentive inspection will definitely not hurt.
What conditions are favorable for reproduction
When fertilizing the soil in which home plants grow, be extremely careful. You should not use a large amount of fertilizer - you can create excellent conditions for the reproduction of pests. The mealybug is settled on houseplants, which are regularly fed by a large amount of fertilizers containing nitrogen. For a pest, these are excellent conditions.
The ideal breeding temperature is + 24 ° -27 ° C. Mealybug lays many eggs, and the larvae appear very quickly. Plants that are healthy, the attack of pests practically does not threaten. Like any living organism, homemade flowers produce special protective substances and can independently scare off the worm, having excellent immunity. But in winter, the mechanism of metabolic processes is disturbed. The length of the day is reduced, the plants receive little light, the air in the apartment is dried out due to the running central heating batteries. Flowers are becoming weaker, and the risk of the appearance of the worm increases.
What is dangerous insect
Для питания вредитель использует сок растения, тем самым нанося ему ущерб. But the most unpleasant thing is that in the process of vital activity the worm emit nectar, the special composition of which becomes the cause of the reproduction of mold fungi and attracts other insects. Reproduction occurs very quickly. If you do not take measures, the plant may even die.
Among this type of pest there are also females that do not need males for breeding. Individual subspecies are able to produce offspring without laying eggs. Viviparous individuals reproduce larvae that are ready for independent living.
What plants affects
Most often there is a mealybug in the orchid, which today adorns the window sills of residential apartments and offices. The pest also infects citrus fruits, cacti, philodendrons, amaryllis, gerberas, oleanders, fuchsias, palms, asparagus, anthurium, monstera, hibiscus and grapes. If a plant is infected, its leaves may turn yellow and fall off, and the shoots do not grow as fast as they should. If, moreover, white scurf has appeared, then you can be sure that a mealy bug has started on the plants. How to deal with an insect that infects citrus, climbing under the bark or penetrating into the tubers of bulbous plants? The problem of parasite excretion is in many respects difficult due to the fact that the pest lays eggs in hard-to-reach places.
Before performing the procedure, you should always wear rubber gloves, prepare tools and chemicals. The choice of processing method depends largely on how strongly the pest has multiplied. Does the plant overpower a mealybug? How to deal with it? The first step is to clean off the pests from the leaves and stems. It is important to use paper towels or a rag, which are destroyed immediately after processing. Cheervets need to crush or splash alcohol: it will destroy them. It is necessary to know that insects have special glands that secrete protective surface wax. Chemicals pass through such a coating poorly, which means conventional treatment will not be sufficiently effective.
Remember that pests are extremely prolific. If they had time to settle on the plants, then egg stalks similar to cotton balls will be visible on the stems. They are washed off with a brush dipped in soapy water. You can pour the solution into a bottle with a spray and carefully spray the plant: the composition dries the shell and contributes to the death of the colony. The disadvantage of this method is that eggs can be safely hidden under the leaves of the plant, where it is difficult to get them.
Chemicals such as Admiral, Aktellik, Aktara will help. Spray the plant with them and repeat the treatment in a week to get rid of the larvae hatched from the eggs. Use the following chemicals with care: Calypso, Iskra, Confidant, Tanrek - they are very toxic.
When the fight is useless
When none of the above methods helps, and it is impossible to get rid of the pest, you should think that time is lost. In this case, it is better to leave hope for salvation. The plant is taken out of the house and destroyed. Otherwise, there will be an infection of other colors, and you can say goodbye to the home greenhouse.
Prevention of appearance
There is a mealybug on the orchid? Remember if a new plant that you bought recently has settled in your apartment. The most common infection occurs from other flowers that have been purchased or donated. Before you bring the plant, carefully inspect the leaves and stems. A mealybug (photo of the affected plants is in the article) is a large and conspicuous insect.
But even if it is not visible, then this is not indisputable proof that the plant is completely healthy. If there is an infection (for example, there are bags of eggs), within a few days pests will appear. Larvae can hide in the packaging in the soil.
"Novices" do not rush to immediately place on the same window sill with the "permanent residents" - house plants. Set them apart and watch for a couple of days. Carefully check everything to be sure that the plant really needs to be processed. If you use pesticides, cover the soil so that chemicals do not get on it.
A mealybug appears again and again?
How to fight, because it seems that any methods are powerless? Remember that the worst conditions for a mealybug are excellent lighting and high humidity. In winter, you can highlight the plant with a special lamp and additionally spray it with warm water, creating reliable protection against the appearance of pests. However, insects are treacherous. As soon as the mistress loses her guard, and the plants receive less attention, the worm is right there.
Citrus and stubby mealybugs harm the orchids, as depicted in the photo in the article. On the roots of parasitic soil species of this family of insects. The people for these parasites entrenched the name "felted" and "shaggy lice", reflecting the features of the appearance of females. Harmful organisms feed on succulent shoots and leaves, causing great damage to plants. The winged male does not consume food for a short life.
What shaggy lice look like:
- The body of a female individual has a rounded shape, is 3–6 mm in length.
- Females secrete white wax threads, envelop themselves with this felt.
- Males look like winged insects, with two thin processes in the back of the body. The body reaches a length of 2 mm.
- The larvae look like small yellowish worms that crawl around the plant in search of food.
The bristly color of the bite is red or orange. On the back of the body grow thin filaments that look like antennae. The body of the female citrus worm is colored pink or yellow. Top insects like powdered or powder. This effect is due to the many wax plates.
Usually, females sit motionlessly or crawl slowly, then stick in one place. Insects feed heavily and form an egg sac from wax strings. There are viviparous species and species capable of reproduction without fertilization — parthenogenesis. Larvae move quickly, find a place to feed and prepare for molting.
Symptoms of feline infection
Insects penetrate the premises with new indoor plants, cuttings and bouquets. Greenhouse soil, store substrates sometimes contain live females and eggs. Soil species are often found in the ground from the garden or vegetable garden.
Young shoots with orchid leaves of the Phalaenopsis genus suffer more from the attack of parasites. Larvae hide behind scales of pseudobulbs of some species, for example, Cattleya orchids. Signs of infection with soilworms are ashy lumps on the substrate in a flower pot.
Pests feed on plant sap and inject their toxins into tissues. As a result, the development of shoots slows down, the leaves turn yellow or red, fall off. If the plant is not processed on time, the generation of larvae and young females will destroy the orchid in a short time.
Detect the problem helps careful inspection of the attachment of leaves to the stem, root zone. Insects secrete white threads and a sugary substance, visible on the outside and inside of leaf plates in the form of sticky drops. The sooty fungus feeds on the sweet liquid, due to which the habitats of the pest organisms are painted in a dirty gray color.
It is extremely difficult to cope with a mealybug, protected by wax scales from drying, the action of powders or insecticide solutions. Each female lays eggs or gives rise to larvae 2-3 times during the season. At 25 ° C, 3–4 insect generations appear.
Physical methods and folk methods of struggle with mealybug
Orchid is easier to clean from parasites at the beginning of infection. Inspect the habitats of pests: young shoots, leaves, flower stalks. Egg bags with females collected with a gauze pad. Cotton pad moistened with calendula tincture with 70 ° alcohol and wipe the plant.
Thoroughly clean the insects and threads from the leaves, wash off the sugary discharge. Strongly affected parts of the plant are cut and destroyed. The scales on the pseudobulb are removed, and the air tuber is wiped with a wet disc from cotton wool. The leaves covering the surface organ are removed, then the larvae are removed with a cotton swab.
To save the orchid from the mealybug, use one of the ways:
- Insist 4–5 cloves of garlic in ½ liter of boiling water. Orchid sprayed with a solution or wipe only the leaves on both sides.
- Shoots horsetail poured boiling water (1 tbsp. L per glass). The plant is treated with cooled infusion.
- The pot is filled with the skins of raw potatoes and water, brought to a boil, heated for another 10 minutes. The solution is cooled to 40 ° C and sprayed indoor flowers.
A soap and alcohol solution is used against larvae and adult insects on orchids. The tool is prepared by means of 1 liter of soft water, 1 s. l liquid soap and 2 tbsp. l alcohol strength of 70 °. The roots and flowers are pre-covered so that the solution does not fall. The tool is applied with a soft brush directly on the colonies of the worm.
Experienced growers know how to deal with pests by heating. The method is applied with care so that a sunbath or hot water does not burn the leaves. It has a detrimental effect on adults and larvae at a temperature of 35 ° C and above. A good result is obtained when using a hot shower for an orchid (45–50 ° C).
To combat the larvae of the pest use chemicals intestinal and contact action. Young animals hatched from eggs or released from the womb of the mother are not covered with wax powder and threads. Contact insecticide gets on the shell of the body of the larva and causes death. Thanks to enteric pesticides, the control of insect pests has become more effective. After treatment, all parasites that feed on the plant die.
Chemical spray products:
- "Phytoverm", "Vertimek" - intestinal-contact insecticides of natural origin, less toxic.
- Aktara is a drug that is poisonous to a large group of plant pests. The working fluid is prepared from 2 g of powder and 2.5 liters of water.
- Calypso is an insecticide that causes the rapid death of insects when using a solution of 0.5 ml in 1 liter of water.
- "Actellic" - a tool used on indoor plants in exceptional cases, with a massive defeat by pests.
Insecticide that can not cope with parasites, cancel. Choose another drug and spray after 7–10 days. Strong remedy is Actellic. One vial means dissolved in 2 liters of water. The working liquid sprayed the stems, leaves on both sides, pour the solution at the root. It will take 3-4 treatments with a break of 7 days.
Tips for working with drugs:
- Insecticides are toxic substances. Before fighting with a mealybug, using chemical means, an orchid is carried out on a balcony.
- Prepare and apply the solution in rubber gloves, respirator, protective clothing and glasses.
- After processing, the orchid is covered with a pre-prepared cap of colorless plastic film. Remove the coating after 24–48 hours.
- Do not eat while working with pesticide solutions.
- The presence of children in the room where the spraying is carried out.
- After the procedure, remove the protective equipment, take a shower and rinse your mouth.
When soil pests are found, the orchid is transplanted. The roots can be treated with insecticide after cleansing from the ground. The flower pot is washed with water, rinsed with a weak pesticide solution. Against winged males, sticky tapes are hung near light sources.
Viral, bacterial and fungal diseases of orchids often develop in plants weakened by the attack of harmful insects. Conditions for the spread of parasites occur when the content of potted flowers is crowded. The condition of the orchid deteriorates when the nitrogen content in the soil is excessive and the watering is improper.
Pests or disease are less likely to infect domestic flowers, which are properly looked after. Orchids are watered only when the soil is dried in a pot to a depth of 1 cm. If the water flows and fills the pan, it is emptied. Dead leaves, debris from the surface of the substrate in the pot is removed. Regularly washed with hot water windowsill and shelves with vases.
In the summer, when windows and doors are opened, the larvae of the felt are brought into the windows of the lower floors by gusts of wind. Flowers in the room periodically inspect and immediately isolate suspicious instances. Beginners are quarantined - placed separately and monitored. When symptoms appear, the mealybug is immediately sprayed with an infusion of an insecticidal plant or a solution of the drug "Fitoverm".