Saturday, 29 December 2007

Mealybug infestation

In the past few days, I had noticed but not paid much attention to some fluffy white stuff that clung to one of my orchid plants. Not until today, anyway. The white fluff kept on appearing and lodging itself so finally, I had no choice by to take a real good look at it. Imagine what I found!

These are called mealybugs: tiny slow-moving white insects, measuring 2mm-4mm long, that feed on plant sap. I was alarmed. I had no idea how to rid the plant of these insects in the most practical way. Searching through the Internet, there were various suggestions on the types of insecticides I could use but I wouldn't know where to get them locally.

Then I struck on an idea. Maybe, it can be used on a temporary basis until I could find a more permanent solution. Why not try to dislodge the pests with a jet of water, forceful enough to dislodge the pests from the nooks and crannies on the plant without damaging it. So I tried just that and now, the plant looks clean. I'll have to monitor the plant daily for the next week or so to make sure that the pests are eliminated. If not, it's the water treatment again...

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