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Problem with scale on my phals

Posted by allymarie ZONE 10 (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 16, 13 at 13:44

Hello,

I have a problem with scale on my phals.I usually wipe them off the leaves but now I notice they are spreading to the other plants.Wiping them off probably left the eggs intact on the leaves.Is there a natural remedy that can stop the infestation? I saw a you tube video where alcohol was used to kill bugs on orchids.Is it regular 70% alcohol or another type? Also,is regular powdered cinnamon and hydrogen peroxide therapeutic for bacterial and viral diseases on orchids?

Thanks,

Allymarie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Problem with scale on my phals

In most cases, if you have scale you have ants. Resolve your ant problem and the scale goes away. The ants farm the scale. They eat the secretions of the scale. Scale by themselves do not move very well. See if there are any ants involved. Different ants are out and about at different times of the day. You may need to check at intervals to find the little x=*****. I did not believe all this at first. But it is true. Good luck...


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RE: Problem with scale on my phals

Oh yes, I definitely have ants! I will spray that windowsill right now.Thanks Shavedmonkey!

Allymarie


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RE: Problem with scale on my phals

Ants tending to scale indoors is not likely, in a greenhouse equally unlikely. Anymore than you are likely to see them tending to aphids in either location. That is more an interaction you are likely to see in situ, not in cultivation.

Fact is, newly hatched scale insects--known as crawlers--are very mobile and are well known for moving perfectly fine from one plant to another across benches, and I suspect this is what happened in your case.

The best thing is a systemic at this point, i.e. Bayer Rose and Flower Insect Killer. If you really don't want to do that, your likelihood of eradication is minimal. THe next best thing you can use is insecticidal soap. This will help supress a bit more. Someone might recommend horticultural oil, and this would work too, but on scale soap is a bit more effective.

Don't bother with regular application of cinnamon and hydrogen peroxide. Those are only effective when you have an open wound.

Wipe down with alcohol, but forget it as a spray. Use either the insecticidal soap or a systemic.

This post was edited by terpguy on Sat, Nov 16, 13 at 21:54


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RE: Problem with scale on my phals

It is extremely likely that ants are the problem. https://www.google.com/search?q=scale+farming+ants&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=lj6IUueFFu3w2gXmz4DoDA&ved=0CEUQsAQ&biw=1489&bih=784 or google scale farmed by ants . is one of thousands of links. Perhaps zone 7 does not have this problem? Orthene as a systemic is the choice chemical. But find and kill the ant nest is the long term solution. Contact spray is not the answer. Use bait to kill the queen if domestic ants. If they are the invasive ants get professional help.

This post was edited by shavedmonkey on Sat, Nov 16, 13 at 23:05


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RE: Problem with scale on my phals

SM i don't need to google. I have significant experience in this area for more reasons than you know. I also know that ants won't farm hard scale like the brown scale that infests phals, like the one I have infested right now, due to inadequate honeydew production. You don't know the kind of scale she has here.

Its far more probable she spread it with her hands/tools, or they crawled from one plant to another since they are in close proximity. This is how things spread in cultivation.

You will never read in common literature, nor experience as I have, that ants are the main reason for scale spreading. Theres a reason for that, because its not true.

Also, be careful with Orthene. Like i said in my previous post, I agree that systemic is the way to go. But between imidacloprid and Orthene I'd go with imidacloprid. Orthene strongly encourages spider mite population explosion. Not my favorite chemical and to call it "THE chemical of choice" is misleading. There are many options available that would work.

Besides, Allymarie asked for a "natural" way.

Head spinning yet, Allymarie?

This post was edited by terpguy on Sun, Nov 17, 13 at 0:50


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RE: Problem with scale on my phals

I second Terpguy. I heard of ants farming aphids, but never scale. I've grown plants indoors many years and never had ants, but I've had scale. Easily spread from one plant to another. That is the reason to isolate new plants before introducing them to your collection.

I agree about Bayer systemic. Alcohol on a q-tip works but you have to stay on top of it. I find an infestation of scale is almost impossible to eradicate totally.

Jane


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RE: Problem with scale on my phals

True that, Jane. What helps though, and I did this with my current infested phal, is to wipe off all the visible scale first. THEN spray and keep on top.


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RE: Problem with scale on my phals

Must be a coincident that ants are present?.......


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RE: Problem with scale on my phals

The bug you need to target is the one you don't see, the new hatchling. I use a combination of soap and Neem oil on scale and it works very well. The effect however seems to be on the newly hatched bugs. I try to wipe off the adults but never get all off them. Spraying the area weekly for 3 to 4 weeks however will remove the problem.. The adults die off and the newly hatched are done in be the oil/soap. If a plant has a heavy infestation I move it to a 'hospital' area and spray it twice a week . The new hatchling, at some stage, can fly hence their widespread presence.

The key is not to be upset if your initial spraying does not seem to work as you continue seeing scale for a while. The adults are well protected by their shell. If you keep it up, however, in a few weeks they'll be gone.

I also have found that ants seem to farm aphids but not scale. I never go after the ants as my backyard is full of them. The ants, however, are your first sign that you have an aphid problem. I then go after the aphids and the ants go away by themselves.

Nick


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RE: Problem with scale on my phals

Nick, I understand that immature males fly. But to spread and reproduce they need crawlers to get to other plants.


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RE: Problem with scale on my phals

Oh am I giddy, but with a wealth of info from you experienced orchid enthusiasts. I sprayed my windowsill for ants and wiped the scale off the leaves with a little alcohol.I do have the Bayer Rose and Flower spray in the blue bottle that I had for my hibiscus plant.I will spray them and see how it goes.Thanks for the advice everyone!

Allymarie


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RE: Problem with scale on my phals

I also think the Bayer Tree and Shrub works well, advantage is that you can water it in instead of spraying. I'm one of the group who have never seen ants farm scale, aphids yes, scale no... Who knew?

Good luck,

Bob


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