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Carnivorous Plants/Mealy bugs in sarracenia roots


Mealy bug
Mealy bug  

Hi, I have had this problem for now a long time, some sarracenia in my collection, specially S. leucophylla v. Tarnok, but also Dainas delight and Scarlett belle hybrids in some cases have the bugs.
I have tried using Imidacloprid insecticide with no success, it is sold in solid formulation and neither using it in the water tray (with only 1cm or less of water) nor letting some grains in the soil has had any effects.
Since the bugs appear all around the roots, the plants become weak and develop a black ashy fungus on the leaves aswell, which has the effect to reduce the photosynthetic area of the plant.
Changing the substrate has not worked.
I use peat perlite in a similar proportion as the plants you sell.
Sarracenia are in full sun, only that below a greenhouse plastic to prevent heavy rains over them.
Your video says Neem insecticide is only a contact one so, the hidden mealybugs would not get rinsed in it, so which other product, specially systemic chemical one may be used?
(just in case, sulphur powder has no effect neither)

Hi Marco,

See if you can find an insecticide based on Acephate, that may do what you need.  It's often sold under the brand Orthene.  I'm not sure what you have available in Costa Rica.  In the U.S. Acephate is only available as an agricultural chemical powder since it is considered to toxic for home use.  It can be used very safely as long as it is not used on food crops.  Acephate is systemic and lasts about a month on plants.  It is specifically an ingested poison, not topical, so it works by going into the plant, then killing the insects when they feed.  We currently get it as a powder that is 75-95% so you mix it 1 1/2 teaspoons per gallon or 1 teaspoon per gallon respectively.  Be sure to follow any safety directions on the label, and usage directions.

Another product worth giving a try for Mealy Bugs is Beauvaria bassiana.  This is a biological product based on a pathogenic fungus that attacks and eats insects.  It is most effective in humid climates, and may be readily available in Costa Rica since it's used quite a bit on Coffee Cherry Borer.  It goes by the brand names Botaniguard or Mycotrol.  We're just starting to use this product, but reviews on it are rave.  Hope this helps.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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