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issues, diseases and pests

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by lindamarie, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. lindamarie

    lindamarie Member

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    :mad:I have a big problem with earwigs. I am attempting to bring my orchids into the house and they are full of earwigs. They crawl down into the bulbs and hide. when I have tried to get them out, they quickly run into the soil/medium . How do I deal with this. I have over a hundred plants outside and they are especially bad in the cymbidiums.
     
  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've never had to do this but it seems that you could submerge the entire pot in a tub or bucket of water. The earwigs should come out quickly. They may start to climb the foliage but you can pick them off or spray them off the leaves with a water spray. If your plants are potted in bark this method could be problematic since a lot would float :confused:. Of course, there is always insecticide. Good luck.
     
  3. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Most people I know who summer their collections outside treat them with an insecticide before bringing them back in.
     
  4. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc Member

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    Marni, what insecticide would you recommend? I have always wanted to spray my orchids and vast tropical collections before I bring them in, but also don't really like a lot of hard chemicals coming into the house attached.
     
  5. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Bayer 3 in 1 is a good choice. It has a systemic insecticide and a miticide. I have one long narrow greenhouse that is a breezeway in the warmer months when I open up the ends so it is susceptible especially to aphids I spray in the spring. I spray once and then about 10 days later and keeps them clean through the warmer months. Sevin will work for things that have crawled into the bark.
     
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  6. lindamarie

    lindamarie Member

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    Thanks. Hopefully one of these methods will work. Earwigs really creep me out.:eek:
     
  7. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Watering with the Sevin should work well for the earwigs.
     
  8. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc Member

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    Thanks Marni!
     
  9. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Since the Bayer 3 in 1 is systemic you can spray them and wait a bit then wash them off well and minimize what will be coming in with the plants.
     
  10. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    That "bit" of a wait should be at least a couple of days. The systemic action of insecticides is not due directly to absorption of the chemical, but absorption then metabolism, as it's the metabolites that are systemically toxic. Orchids have relatively slow metabolisms compare to many other plants.
     
  11. lepetitmartien

    lepetitmartien Active Member

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    Earwigs are auxiliaries… You're killing a living pesticide.

    They east snail egs, other insects, rotting stuff.

    You can attract them using some vegetal oil, They love it. I'd make a one way in trap with some oil to attract them. ;)
     
  12. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I guess French earwigs are a bit different than the variety we have on the west coast of US and Canada. They can strip a garden plant of leaves over night. They love to chew threw the middle of a spike so you find it wilting and bent in half when you see it in the morning. And flowers are like manna from heaven.
     
  13. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Earwigs are both beneficial and damaging. Turns out they are omnivorous and will eat what is available including aphids, mites, decaying material and living ornamental and garden plants. There is a ton of info on the web including control methods. Here is just one of many links: http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/how-to-control-earwigs
     
  14. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    I cannot rationalize the concept of something being beneficial and damaging. As far as I am concerned, if it can cause any damage, it is not beneficial.

    Fungus gnat larvae will eat fungi growing on decomposing potting media - until they outstrip it and turn on the roots. Are fungus gnats "beneficial"?
     
  15. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ray, I think that is a very narrow perspective. I was pointing out that both lepetitmartien and Marni were accurate and I never suggested that people should not try to keep them out of their grow spaces. True, in a greenhouse full of orchids an earwig would be considered (by most) a pest regardless of some beneficial functions that it may provide. However, my comments were intended only to provide some insight into the insect.

    Examples: ants are an incredibly valuable insect ... but I don't want them in my house. If they come inside I kill them.
    Many exotic ornamental plants are beautiful in gardens and lawns but when they start naturalizing and spreading into the natural environment they cause havoc and cost billions of dollars to try to eradicate.
    I have spent part of my career reestablishing riparian forests on ranch and farmland along rivers and streams. However, if an oak starts to grow next to my house foundation I remove it. Does this make oaks bad? Of course not. A weed is any plant that is growing where you don't want it. An insect is a pest when the damage out-weighs the benefits.

    So, are fungus gnats beneficial? Yes, but that doesn't mean you will want them in your greenhouse. Are wolves beneficial? Yes, but I don't want them coming into my backyard. Are earwigs beneficial? Yes, but I don't want them in my greenhouse either.

    Enough on the subject.
     
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  16. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Sorry that hit you wrong, Kelly. I was trying (apparently unsuccessfully) to interject a tiny bit of humor.

    It's all perspective...
     
  17. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    All's good.
     
  18. lepetitmartien

    lepetitmartien Active Member

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    I keep mines, we don't see them. ^^