Phalaenopsis
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Mealybugs on Orchids

Mealybugs on an OrchidMealybugs on an Orchid

What are Mealybugs and what do they look like?

Mealybugs are a fairly common pest of orchids, especially Phalaenopsis. At first glance it looks as though the plant has some sort of cottony white fluffy mass on its leaves. Closer examination reveals a wingless insect that is feeding on the plant's tissue. They can seemingly appear out of nowhere and quickly spread across an entire plant or set of plants. They like to hide in crevices and under leaves so by the time we see them on top of the leaves of a plant it is likely they are already fairly well established. Taking a look under the leaves usually reveals powdery clumps of them as well as a few individuals.

How to get rid of Mealybugs

Mealybugs need to be dealt with as quickly as possible. Once established, they become harder to eliminate. They can be quite active and quickly infest nearby plants, so the first action is to isolate the affected plant and keep a keen eye on others that were near it. Our GET OFF ME! Natural Pest Control Spray is highly effective against Mealybugs. GET OFF ME! spray is a natural water based cinnamon herbal infusion with a few drops of baby shampoo as a surfactant. It can be used indoors or outdoors and is a safe alternative to other bug sprays which may contain harmful chemicals. Included in the starter kit is a revolutionary new spray bottle that can spray at any angle, even upside down! For extra strength, add rubbing alcohol to your GET OFF ME! in a 50/50 mixture in your spray bottle and the cinnamon stick will infuse the alcohol as well. Treat effected plants every 10-14 days paying particular attention to crevices and the undersides of leaves.

How to keep Mealybugs from coming back

Repot the orchid as soon as practical after an infestation has been eliminated as it is likely the critters have moved underground to feast on the roots as well. Treating the top of the orchid without repotting is generally insufficient. Make sure to use a fresh, top quality orchid mix and not the kind that has been sitting around, outdoors, at a home improvement store. Mealybugs in addition to other pests and pathogens can be introduced into an orchid collection with the arrival of a new plant. As a best practice, keep new acquisitions isolated until you are confident that they don't have any unwelcome pests or diseases.

Finally, keeping plants clean, with organic solutions such as our WASH ME! Natural Leaf Cleaner can help to discourage future infestations.

Mealybugs on an OrchidMealybugs on an Orchid

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