Scale bugs

schmiggle

Arachnoprince
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Nov 3, 2013
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These are growing not on any of my plants (lord be praised), but on accused in a greenhouse being kept by a lab I'm working at. Does anybody know how to get rid of them other than either nasty synthetic pesticides (we can't use these because there are also ant colonies being grown in the greenhouse) or crushing them on the tree by hand? Topical things for them are hard to find, and unlike mealybugs (another major greenhouse pest), they're impossible to spray off with a hose.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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Pruning. Susceptible to alcohol and citrus peel extracts. Various combinations of extracts with soaps may render it more effective.

Your problem, as you undoubtedly are aware of, is avoiding any residual toxins. There has been sporadic experimentation of the use of both alcohols and citrus based solvents in that they break down under normal atmospheric conditions before becoming a problem.

You could try an alcohol based aromatic solvent and lace it with a mild nicotine solution.
 
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schmiggle

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
1,847
Pruning. Susceptible to alcohol and citrus peel extracts. Various combinations of extracts with soaps may render it more effective.

Your problem, as you undoubtedly are aware of, is avoiding any residual toxins. There has been sporadic experimentation of the use of both alcohols and citrus based solvents in that they break down under normal atmospheric conditions before becoming a problem.

You could try an alcohol based aromatic solvent and lace it with a mild nicotine solution.
This does sound really useful. My only question is, if applied topically to scale bugs, will it be effective? I think we already are planning on using some kind of soap to stop them from coming back, but it's annoying, and potentially a hand irritant (they get full of defensive plant chemicals), to rub them off, since there are just so many. Could I spray on the alcohol/nicotine solution (I'll need more details on this if I do end up using it) and expect results?
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
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Messages
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I'm afraid your are staring trial and error dead in the face. Those suggestions are just what has worked at the arboretums I frequented. Alcohol evaporates, citrus oils and nicotine degrade. But mom nature loves to throw ringers at you. One year nicotine controlled the aphids very effectively, one year later the effects were marginal. Alcohol is a short lived toxin but bugs can develop some tolerance. More concentrated methyl alcohol usually kills non selectively and tolerance is very minimal. Citrus oils, depending on concentration is a highly irritating substance that can be used as a biocide. The correct amount of a surfactant in water will drown most bugs, though some take up to an hour to succumb.
I recall in the greenhouse at Santa Anita they resorted to applying various substances with a paint brush. I don't think there is one silver bullet. It seems mom nature has a checks and balances system that the use of natural pesticides needs to find the niches in.
 
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