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By Hywel

Carmarthenshire, Wales Wal

I have a Clivia and Rhipsalis both of which are rather badly infested with mealy bugs and I can't get rid of them.

On the Clivia they are right down in the tight crevasses between the leaves, and on the Rhipsalis they are right inside the many small branches ... and a small brush or thin stick soaked in Meths will not reach there.

I have been thinking of spraying both plants with Meths from a mister/sprayer, until they are wet, so that it will run down into the tight spaces and hopefully kill the bugs.

Please does anyone know if this will harm the plants and also would it poison them if it runs on to the compost.
Thank you.



Sending you lots of sympathy Hywel.I have sloshed meths about before with no ill effects and have even dipped affected roots into it. I asked David about any residue left afterwards and he says that everything evaporates leaving none, although the consituents evaporate at different rates. He also suggested covering the bare compost with a bit of card if you are worried. After all if its that bad you have nothing to lose. I hope you haven't got it at the roots as well.
Let me know how you go on.

14 Nov, 2016


In desperate cases, I mix up a non-ionic surfactant with carbaryl, both according to bottle directions, and immerse the plant in it. Malathion used the same way also works, but my meager experiments with pyrethroids have been inconclusive. The first mixture also works well with spine mealybugs, cocchineal scale, and other scales.

14 Nov, 2016


Malathion is banned in the UK Tug.
Carbaryl is no longer approved here for non professional use.

14 Nov, 2016


Well, drat! Insecticidal soap might be useful, though not for immersion. Systemic neonicotinoids, or acephate, might also be useful, though slow acting, if they are still available.
Just for future reference, which insecticides are still available in the UK, or Europe? I would rather give useful advice, if I can! :}

14 Nov, 2016


Thanks for all your advice :)

14 Nov, 2016


Can't keep up Tug. Best to just take a look along the shelves and find one that does what you want. But meths does work for mealy bug if you can get at it, and though I've not tried spraying it I've painted it on fairly liberally.

14 Nov, 2016

How do I say thanks?

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