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sa3152003

Giant bird of paradise infected with mealybugs and scale. Help!

sa3152003
March 25, 2016
last modified: March 25, 2016

Hi, I have a giant bird of paradise and have had it for about a year and a half. It had a pretty bad infection of mealybugs, which I had managed to get rid of, or so I thought. Now it's back. Ugh! The plant also has scales, but isn't as bad. Of course I'd like to get rid of both the scales and mealybugs, are there any systemic insecticides that can get rid of these pests? Has anyone used neem oil on their plants for these pests?

Comments (9)

  • Chantal Trapp
    Hi there, did you have any luck? Mine has scale now and I would really like to save it!
  • Matt

    Yes but best to use a wet towel with some on it and scrub away. Then leave it with a good spray.

  • PRO
    tapla

    Bayer makes several products that utilize the systemic insecticide, Imidacloprid. There is a 2-in-1 rose spray with a topical and a systemic insecticide, and their 3-in-1 for insects disease and mites, which utilizes Imidacloprid. Both of these products are approved for use on houseplants, but you MUST spray outdoors and the plant should be allowed to dry before bringing them in (so weather is a consideration). You could also opt for any of several brands of systemic insecticide designed for use as a soil drench for trees. You would use the one that contains 1.46% solution of Imidacloprid. Add 2 tsp to 1 tbsp to a quart or liter of water and wet the entire soil mass. No need to move the plant outdoors for this application. Read and follow package instructions carefully. Either regimen should rid your plant of any pests (other than mites, though the 3-in-1 has a miticide, too) with sucking/rasping mouth parts that feed on sap.

    Al

  • Raymond Dziezynski

    I've had very good results erradicating mealie and scale with a spray of rubbing alc repeated 2-3 times one week apart. Spray in well ventilated area or outdoors. Dead bodies need to be wiped off though.

    With systemics you can risk creating a population of immune insects should jusalt a few individuals be able to detox the chemical.


  • Beth Cohen

    Raymond, I have a pretty bad infestation too, I'm ashamed to say. Will try the alcohol spray. I've read to dilute it and not to dilute it. Hmmm.

  • iochroma

    Imidacloprid.

  • PRO
    tapla

    Beth - what plants will tolerate insofar as the alcohol:water concentration varies by plant species, condition of the plant, and other cultural influences. FWIW - I've yet to find a plant that didn't tolerate well a 1:1 mix.


    I've been using imidacloprid for scale and mealybug for as long as it's been on the market, and I've yet to see an infestation of either it didn't knock out handily/completely with no evidence of populations tolerant to it. I'm not endorsing it, just stating the fact that I'm glad to have it on hand because it does what it claims.

    Al

  • Beth Cohen

    Thank you! I’ve successfully done a 1:1 on my ponytail palm. I’ll head to Lowe’s tomorrow and will try the imidacloprid. I’d hate to lose this plant. It was here when we bought the house in late 2017. I doubt I could’ve kept it for as old as it looks.

  • PRO
    tapla

    Any plant in a pot needs repotting on a regular basis. There will be some who make the claim that a ponytail palm will "thrive" on neglect, but that is not true. That the plant will suffer a lot of abuse without succumbing to the stress cannot be taken as indication it approves of the stress. No plant does, and neglect is always accompanied by stress ...... or it isn't neglect. The most often overlooked key to a persistently healthy plant is regular repotting into a soil that won't hold enough water to be a limiting factor. At the point your plant can be lifted from the pot with the root/soil mass intact, it will benefit from a repot ...... and a repot is much different than potting up. Potting up ensures the limitations imposed by root congestion remain, where repotting eliminates entirely the limitations associated with root congestion. Over-watering in poor soils can be lethal. The idea is to use or make a soil that allows you to water to beyond the point of saturation, so you're flushing the soil of accumulating dissolved solids (salts) when you water, this, without the plant having to pay an "over-watering tax" in the form of significant loss of potential. Tight roots can rob your plant of more than 90% of it's potential as the congestion reaches the critical stage.

    All the succulents, trees, and most houseplants I grow are grown in this medium:



    Best luck!


    Al

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