Little white bugs that appear on the orchid are a common problem that almost all flower lovers face. Defeat with mealybugs (often called shaggy lice) without the necessary treatment leads to a gradual deterioration of growth and wilting of the plant, so it is worth starting the fight with them much earlier.
- Parasite characterization
- Causes and signs of infection
- Danger of defeat
- Methods of controlling mealybugs
- Mechanical processing
- Use of insecticides
- Alternative methods
- Prevention of infection
Characteristics of the parasites
Thanks the characteristic appearance of the pest, p it is easy to recognize its presence, on the leaves the parasites look like fluffy white lumps of oval shape, 4-5 cm long.
Most often, females with a fringe around the body and a small tail become the real threat. Male thin winged individuals are rarely found on orchids.
Shaggy lice are located in most cases on the stem and leaf part of the flower. In places of pest settlement, a white wax coating and sooty mushrooms appear in the form of black dots, which are grown on sugary secretions of shaggy lice.
Causes and signs of infection
Parasites can appear on the orchid due to such disturbances in care:
- low air temperature in the room;
- excess moisture in the air;
- increased humidity of the substrate;
- uncleaned plant debris (sluggish stems, dry leaves, fallen buds);
- an overabundance of mineral fertilizers.
Another reason for the defeat of the orchid is the use of contaminated soil that has not undergone disinfection. The neighborhood with a recently bought and not passed quarantine plant also increases the chances of a small pest infecting.
Bugs are quite unpretentious and comfortable on all types of orchids – Phalaenopsis, Vanda, Cattleya, Dendrobium, Aganizia, etc. Plants affected by bugs stand out its painful appearance:
- deformation and death of leaves;
- yellowing of foliage and trunk;
- growth stop;
- the presence of small white lumps on the surface of stems and leaves.
At risk include weakened flowers, especially about in the winter. This is facilitated by a violation of metabolic processes, a reduction in the duration of daylight hours, drying out of the air due to the use of batteries.
Danger of defeat
The harmfulness of these beetles is extensive and captures the following types of dangers:
- Eating parasites with plant juices causes nutrient deficiency in the flower itself , which leads to a halt in natural growth and development.
- The development of a special sticky nectar (honey dew) that remains on the trunk and leaves of the plant. The sweet substance attracts many types of insect pests and serves as a catalyst for the development of mold, causing oxygen starvation of the flower.
- Bugs can settle not only on the visible parts of the plant, but also in the roots (most often this happens when the infected is added soil in the pot). Under such conditions, insects can be detected only after a long time, when the orchid will be significantly damaged and it will be problematic to fight the lesion. Roots in the ground will continue to rot, and the pest population will spread to the entire flower and all nearby plants.
Methods for controlling mealybugs
If white bugs are wound up in the orchid, hygienic precautions are applied:
- the use of rubber gloves when performing the necessary procedures;
- disinfection of instruments in contact with plants, or the use of disposable;
- isolation of affected flowers.
Most of the fluffy pests are formed on young shoots, but about The whole orchid is subject to processing. To treat the affected decorative culture at home effectively by chemical means or folk methods, but first you need to remove all adult individuals.
Mechanical actions will help determine the area lesions and prevent its relapse. First of all, foliage is processed, it is better to remove the buds on a diseased plant.
To get rid of small bugs, you need to:
- Wipe the foliage with a cotton ball soaked in soapy water or another special preparation for processing.
- Cut the affected processes by 10 mm and extract the found insects with tweezers.
- Carefully examine the roots and soil in the pot.If insects are present in the soil, treat the root system with a special solution and transplant the plant into another soil.
- Phalaenopsis, Wanda, Cattleya and other species of this flower are fanciful crops, so it is advisable to get rid of parasites in the early stages of infection, while the plant did not die.
Use of insecticides
Small egg bags, even after collecting bugs, often remain on the bark, leaves or stem. In the most advanced cases, special chemicals are usually used (Fitoverm, Aktara, etc.).
Before processing, you must completely collect all visible bugs (it is better to use paper towels, a rag or a brush), sprinkle them with alcohol and crush.
The wax coating does not leak chemicals, so conventional spraying will not be effective. Only special remedies against white mealybugs can dry out the cover of these harmful insects.
With significant damage, the most affected areas are removed.
Small bugs can hide in a pot, soil and roots, so getting rid of them from the first treatment is unlikely to succeed. In most cases, for a complete cure, 3-5 procedures with a weekly break are required. The difficulty lies in the fact that the population consists of insects of different age groups and only young individuals can be removed from the first treatment. The more mature the individuals, the harder it is to get rid of them.
Such solutions include:
- Oil emulsion. To prepare the product, mix 2 mt. l olive oil with 1 liter of water and spray the flower.
- Soap-alcohol solution. It consists of 15 g of liquid soap, 10 ml of denatured alcohol in 1 liter of warm water. This tool should not be used for thin-leaved varieties of orchids. During the first treatment, it is better to use a small amount of medicine to check the effects on the plant.
- Garlic tincture. For 0.5 l of boiling water, 5-6 finely chopped cloves of garlic are taken. The resulting mixture is infused for 4-5 hours, filtered and applied with a brush or brush.
Prevention of infection
To prevent white bugs from wounding in the orchid, you must do the following:
- Inspect the new flower for the presence of white honey dew, egg laying and adults.
- Using high-quality soil for planting.
- collecting all dried leaves, buds and stems.
- Creating favorable conditions for keeping the flower – establishing the correct temperature, watering and fertilizing frequency.
Having even one small a bug is a possible beginning of serious problems for the culture, so it is important to periodically conduct a visual inspection of orchids, especially during the off-season and in winter.
To combat the mealybug there are special insecticides and proven alternative methods. Infection with these insects affects all types of orchids – Phalaenopsis, Wanda, Cattleya, Dendrobium, Aganiziya, etc. The treatment methods are independent of the variety and are most effective at an early stage of damage.