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 dwindling collection

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Walker87
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PostSubject: dwindling collection   Thu May 07, 2015 8:20 am

Hi folks!
As some of you would know i have been battling an invasion of mealy bugs for some time now and I'm not wining the war. To date I've lost around 20% of my collection. After multiple doses of pesticides i just can't seem to shake them.
It's extremely disheartening as I've lost some of my favorites.
It's at the point now where i don't know what to do. .
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SneakyCuttlefish
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PostSubject: Re: dwindling collection   Thu May 07, 2015 3:39 pm

List for me what you have tried an in what order you did them. As I have had a very bad experience with these bastards I may be able to help find a way to combat them.

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wert

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PostSubject: Re: dwindling collection   Fri May 08, 2015 9:37 am

Ive heard they dont like garlic.
Could be an old wives tale but.
I know it works for spidermite unsure about mealys
Sorry for your losses. Its bound to happen from time to time especially when you have entered cacti addiction at hyperspeed you funny fuck.
Hope sneaky can help you eradicate the monsters of destruction.
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Eck



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PostSubject: Re: dwindling collection   Fri May 08, 2015 1:11 pm

Sorry to hear of your plight.  I found mealies proliferate in moist and low light conditions. Mamms have been the worst. In extreme cases I've taken affected plants out of the soil and flushed them thoroughly with a spray hose. The soil can then be treated separately (e.g. microwave).

These days I tend towards hardy/resistant species such as columns and feros which also happen to be easy to grow.
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Walker87
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PostSubject: Re: dwindling collection   Sat May 09, 2015 12:43 pm

Thanks for the kind words.
I'm absolutely gutted at the moment, feels like I am just sitting back and watching them get picked off one by one. Some of my star performers have succumb to these little (insert expletives)

Sneaky, this is what I have done so far.

1. Soil soak with confidor active ingredient imocloprid (spelling)
2. Secondary soil soak with confidor, cacti without wool also sprayed on body. This was done about 2 weeks later.
3. Full surface spray of entire collection with rose spray active ingredients tau-fluvalinate & myclobutanil
4. Heavy body soak (all cacti wool or not) with confidor at double strength (done today) I used the jet function on the spray and blasted the little mongrels.

The infestation started on the corypantha and they seemed to favour those to begin with but now they are just taking on anything.
They've absolutely destroyed one of my ferro's and they've also taken to destroying the Mexicans.

The deaths have been varied some just become that sick they die as for others especially the Mexicans after they've been attacked they just rot.
I've not watered in weeks and weeks so it's my thoughts that the mealys have just weakened them that much they've given in.
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SneakyCuttlefish
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PostSubject: Re: dwindling collection   Sun May 10, 2015 2:05 pm

I have found mealys to attack the root systems of cacti more so then the growing part of the plant. The way I got on top of my problem was to:

Go one by one and up root the plant
blast the roots completely free of dirt with a very strong jet of water
dunk the entire cactus, roots and all into a strong mix of Yates: Confidor
Re-pot into fresh cactus soil and bin the old stuff
Follow up soak with Confidor a week later.

A few side notes:
You must spray to remove ants in and around the collection. Make sure there are no other types of pot plants in the same area as your collection.
When re-poting your plants leave the subterranean stem out of soil and use a top fill of pebbles or bauxite or any other coarse material around this section of the plant. This helps to keep moisture away from the stem to reduce rotting.
Its a huge job but to do but this is how I removed my infestation.

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SneakyCuttlefish
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PostSubject: Re: dwindling collection   Sun May 24, 2015 9:41 pm

Walker87

I have been looking into the mealy bug issue and this might be worth a shot. I have had a lot of success with biological controls in the past. Especially with mites. Perhaps these will work just as well for mealys.

http://www.bugsforbugs.com.au/cryptolaemus-information/

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Walker87
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PostSubject: Re: dwindling collection   Mon May 25, 2015 1:24 pm

Thank you for the reply sneaky.
Apologies for the late reply the last few weeks have been chaos.
My last spray of confidor seems to have significantly reduced the number of mealys which is a huge relief but also very upsetting because now i can really see the damage they have inflicted.
Going to hit everything again hard with the confidor and hopefully that will be the end of it.
Falling that i will be using your method.
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SneakyCuttlefish
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PostSubject: Re: dwindling collection   Mon May 25, 2015 2:16 pm

That's good to hear walker87. Hopefully the cold will help to slow down their reproductive rates as well.

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Navajoa
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PostSubject: Re: dwindling collection   Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:25 pm

Must admit, while I use it, I'm not all that impressed with Confidor and you may want to switch things up a bit as the pests can develop a resistance if you use the same pesticide over and over. My usual choice is Malathion, though this is getting harder to come by. Lately I've been mixing a few together, Malathion, a few drops of Confidor etc. Be careful what you do though, and if in doubt, test on a single plant to be sure the cure doesn't kill the patient faster than the mealies!

Also be sure no matter what you use to add a few drops of dish washing liquid in your spray to act as a wetting agent to break through the mealies powdery coat..

Safe to say we all have bugs from time to time, but vigilance can usually keep them in check. Isolate infected plants asap to halt the spread and as already mentioned, eradicate ants as well.
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Walker87
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PostSubject: Re: dwindling collection   Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:41 am

Well I'd hate to speak too soon bit i think I've won the war!
Did a final spray (with dishwashing liquid) a few days ago and do far i can't see any traces of the nasty little things!
The War was not without casualties but I'm glad it appears to be over.
Thanks to everyone for your kind words and advice its been a great help.
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SneakyCuttlefish
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PostSubject: Re: dwindling collection   Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:37 pm

Congrats mate. Hope your collection recover wells.

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Walker87
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PostSubject: Re: dwindling collection   Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:16 am

Well I'm expecting an order of around 100 plants this week. My justification was that I'm replacing the ones that i lost plus some extras as "compensation" so the collection should be up to its former numbers.
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Navajoa
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PostSubject: Re: dwindling collection   Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:18 am

Good luck with the new arrivals ! Still might be an idea to segregate them just until you're totally sure you've really got rid of the nasties... you may have killed off most at the time, but there could be another egg cycle yet...

Always good fun when there's new arrivals! About to do a massive seed planting myself..
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