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Interiorscape Forum / Scaper Talk Discussion Forum / Plants / mealy bug infestation
Posted:  23 Feb 2011 15:46  
I have a 10" hybrid Ag in an azalea pot that has performed well for 6 months.  Then bam, mealy bug.  Whats the best solution for containing the little creatures?
Posted:  23 Feb 2011 16:03   Last Edited By: Clem 
That depends on your philosophy and what you're licensed to do in your state, Marcus.

There are some beneficial organisms ("mealybug destroyer" = Cryptolaemus montrouzieri) that can control mealybugs, provided the infestation isn't too far advanced.  You can also use horticultural oil as directed on the label for use as a leafshine and it should control the problem if it's not too heavy an infestation.

If you are a licensed pesticide applicator in your state, there are several good choices, including Marathon (Imidacloprid) as a foliar spray, or as a drench or a granular soil-incorporated application.  The foliar spray will give quick knockdown as well as residual control for several weeks; the soil-based treatments will take a couple of weeks to work.  There's also insecticidal soap spray for contact kill but no residual effect...complete coverage and contact with all the bugs is key to good control.  Getting a contact-only spray down into all the crevices and leaf axils of a bushy Aglo is no easy task, though.

Clem
Posted:  25 Feb 2011 16:34  
Thanks Clem.  That Marathon is pretty pricey stuff.  Well worth it.  I sure this won't be the last mealy bug I encounter.
Posted:  25 Feb 2011 17:22  
Can the "mealybug destroyers" be seen by customers, and, do they fly?
Posted:  25 Feb 2011 17:36  
They are a lady beetle larva that actually resembles mealybug.  They won't stick around too much longer than it takes to eat up the food source.

Clem
Posted:  25 Feb 2011 18:04  
Thanks Clem,
It's an honor to finally "talk" to you. I have used your advice for years with great results.
Posted:  25 Feb 2011 20:27  
As Todd Rundgren remarked between songs on his classic double-LP "Something/Anything"..."throw money!"

Glad to have helped.

Clem
Posted:  22 Jun 2011 14:49  
Safari works better than Marathon (same chem class but safari seems to uptake better)
Posted:  23 Jun 2011 00:05  
Safari is no cure-all, either.  The relative newcomer Kontos reputedly works better because it is both xylem- and phloem-active, so it moves upward, downward and throughout the treated plant.  It is also a systemic miticide, the longed-for Holy Grail of the interiorscaper, but a number of common interiorscape plants don't like it and are excluded or cautioned on the label ("Do not use on: geraniums, orchids, hoya, Dracena, Cordyline, Schefflera, neanthebella palm and ferns. See the product label for additional crop tolerance information").

http://ohp.com/Company/Newsletter/Winter09/ko ...

http://www.ohp.com/Labels_MSDS/PDF/kontos_lab ...

http://www.ohp.com/PIB/PDF/kontos_490_pib.pdf

Unfortunately, EPA is currently undertaking a review of commonly used agricultural and structural pesticides to determine whether any of them need to be restricted further or even banned.  There's your change.

Clem

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