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Mealybugs

Discussion in 'Tropical Plants' started by missabrat, May 9, 2009.

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  1. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    I found an infestation of mealybugs on one of the plants in my chameleons enclosure, so I have set about checking all the plants in both enclosures and have found these on all the plants. there are way to many to use the q-tip and alcohol method.
    Is there a safe way to remove them without causing harm to the chameleons and the plants?
     
  2. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Are the plants removable? If so, submerge them in water briefly, the little pests should float to the top.
     
  3. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Missabrat, are the plants in seperate pots, or actually planted in the terrarium? These insects also get into the root system, so you would need to check there also...spraying with water works, but obviously that could be difficult inside a tank....
     
  4. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I'm not sure how sensitive chams are to chemicals, but mixing a teaspoon of dish washing soap with a bucket of water, and sponging on to the plants, keeps bugs off.
     
  5. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    yes they are removable

    I didn't know that they get into the roots, thank you! sounds like time for re-potting

    Chams can be very sensitive, as they drink water misted onto the leaves. I think I will remove all plants from pots and soil and soak them in the tub of dishsoapy water overnight and rinse well and re-pot them tomorrow.

    Thank you all!
     
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Good luck. Without resorting to chemicals mealybugs are hard to get rid of. I have tossed a few plants due to them.
     
  7. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    yep it looks like I might have to go that route, soaking doesn't seem to be working :( darn shame to as the plants I paid $80 not to long ago :(
     
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Missabrat, rather than soaking, can you try spraying; a jet of water will remove them easier than soaking I think, obviously not too powerful a spraying, but you must do the roots as I mentioned. I think it`s worth a try...$80 is a lot of money to just throw away! Good luck.
    P.S. is this a mesh style enclosure, or an all glass type, or other? Also you don`t need to soak overnight, you`ll probably harm the plants ...And even washing up liquid can be harmful! ( I know it`s being diluted.)
     
  9. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    I tried spraying with the shower head, don't have a yard so therefore not outdoors hose. These are mesh enclosures, I now have found that the"fruit flies" that I thought I had are more than likey these bugs in their flying form? UGH I don't think I will ever get rid of them, trying to train the chams to eat them LOL
     
  10. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I don`t know what else to suggest, the mealyworms are a real pest! The shower should do the trick, though.... do you happen to own a steam-gun, this would be great for spraying all around the enclosure, or does someone you know have one? (not on the animals and plants, of course!)
    P.S. I forgot: Only the male bugs can fly....
     
  11. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    Thank you for your help! I think my mother has a steam gun, if not my iron steams great LOL I will try that!
     
  12. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    That`s great, this will get into every part of the enclosure, as obviously there will be eggs (mealybug) that need to be destroyed, steaming will definitely do that! Let us know how you get on, good luck!
     
  13. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    what are mealybugs?
     
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    They are a sap sucking insect that infests plants. They secrete a white waxy substance to protect themselves.
     
  15. wgnelson

    wgnelson Elite Member

    They also infest my Bonsai! And they are dam*** hard to get rid of! I use the manual search and destroy, (pinching and squeezing)and a systemic insecticide that goes from the roots up through the trees and into the leaves. This method would probably not be advisable for plants used in conjunction with reptiles. There is the chance the reptile would ingest a poisoned bug/insect and get the insecticide into it's system. Not good!
     
  16. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I'm not familiar with them.
     
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Do a search of mealybugs. Anyone who keeps house plants has probably seen them. Little cottony looking things in the joints of branches.
     
  18. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I'll look them up.

    As a rule, I don't keep plants. Instead of a green thumb, I have the black thumb of death.
     
  19. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    I think we finally have the little buggers in check, have not seen any flying males as of the past 2-3 days, and no sign of them on the plants**crossing fingers** I emptied the pots, soaked the plants overnight, showered them, put them out in the sun, sprayed with rubbing alcohol, , soaked them overnight again, and showered them off again, put them out in the sun to dry, re-potted. the plants seem to have done alright, I haven't lost anyone with the exception of the one that remains an outdoor plant :) there is even new growth on the rubber tree! I also took all the jungle vine out, soaked them in bleach/water solution rinsed and dried in the sun. The screen cages were sprayed with straight bleach and put into the shower for a good longggg rinse and placed outside in the sun to dry.
     
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