Orchid Health: Bugs
Help! My orchid has bugs (scales, mealybugs, mites and aphids)! What should I do?
Copyright American Orchid Society
To prevent pests
To TREAT pest
Okay, so you have found really gross little bugs on your orchid! Pests can also be difficult to control indoors. If you have pets or children it can also be disconcerting to use pesticides to control these issues.
Don’t panic! The best defense and offense I have found is GET OFF ME! Pest Control Spray made from cinnamon, applied to the affected areas, which I purchased from www.rePotme.com. This is a safe substance to use indoors.
Here’s what to do;
REMOVE YOUR PLANT FROM OTHER PLANTS – you don’t want bugs to move from one plant to another.
- Wash pests off with water/mild soap solution and pick off bugs.
- I use Washme from http://www.repotme.com to wash leaves if you don’t have this use FEW drops of mild soap detergent on the plant (don’t use too much soap) mixed with a bunch of water and spray it all over the plant (underside of leaves etc.) and then re-wash with clean fresh wet paper towel.
- Don’t reuse the paper towels – as they have bugs on them.
- You can also use the spray nozzle (if you have it) on your kitchen sink to spray off any extra bugs and mild soap solution.
- Make a solution of 50% rubbing alcohol/water and dab/rub it on the pests. Or for tricky spots you can use straight rubbing alcohol but dab it after with a paper towel and/or rinse it with water so it’s doesn’t burn the plant when the alcohol evaporates. I recently burned all my leaves by using straight alcohol and not following my own advice.
- You can use a Q tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to get into the hard to reach spots.
- I really love to use diluted Neem oil in between alcohol solution days. This works by suffocating the bugs and is also used as a leaf cleaner.
- You can also spray the 50% solution all over your plant (underside of leaves etc.). Again rinse after.
- Repeat this every few days / once a week until pest are gone.
- Soaking the entire plant, in water, helps too because the bugs can’t breathe. If you do this then you should repot your orchid to remove all the infected bug area.
Hope that helps,
Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with pictures of your orchid.