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When buying a new hybrid of an orchid, growers appreciate the beauty of the flower, sometimes the condition of the root system.
And almost no one bothers to closely examine the state of the leaves or the bark in which the roots are located. And in vain, because together with a unique specimen, you can bring pests to your flower garden.
In this article, you can find all the details about orchid pests, as well as learn how to deal with them.
What parts of the plant can pests appear on?
Parasites can hide in any part of orchids:
- scale insects and aphids accumulate on succulent leaves and stems;
- a spider mite will give itself out as a cobweb on buds, flowers or the underside of leaves;
- podura eat young plant roots, so they are usually seen in the moss.
Most often, phalaenopsis and dendrobiums are affected:
- spider mites;
Appearance and photos
Each of the types of pests leaves signs of their vital activity, by which the parasite can be identified.
They are very small in size. These are dark bugs up to 2.5 mm in size... Upon closer examination, you can see two pairs of wings on the back. They usually hide in the substrate, where it is not easy to identify them.
The presence of scale insects is immediately visible - brown or yellowish tubercles appear on clean leaves. Insects are quite "impressive" in size - adults reach 5 mm in length.
The females of the parasites are absolutely motionless, and the males can fly thanks to their two front wings. The scutellum has a translucent carapace covering its body.
Parasites up to 3 mm. greenish, gray or gray-brown in length... Insects move pretty fast - they can even jump.
It is quite difficult to see a tick with the naked eye, but with the help of a magnifying glass in the cobweb you can see an insect of yellow or red color. The larvae of the bug have the same bright color.
Mealybug, which is small in size, is not easy to spot... Its presence on the plant is betrayed by shaggy white balls. Both adults and their larvae hide under this cover.
The adult insect is pink or white in color, sometimes light brown specimens are found. The size of the bug is up to 5 mm.
Affected leaves and stems
It is not easy to identify parasites on an orchid due to their small size. But thanks to the obvious signs of damage to the plant, the species of insects can be quickly identified and started to fight them.
- If grooves appear on the leaves in the form of strokes, and black dots (insect excrement) are visible everywhere on the plant, then it is necessary to urgently begin the destruction of thrips.
- When a spider mite appears, the leaves of the orchid become covered with black dots, which are the results of insect punctures. Subsequently, the leaves brighten, dry out.
- A shaggy white bloom on some areas of orchid leaves is a characteristic sign of the appearance of a mealybug. Parasites feed on the sap of the flower, reducing the ability to photosynthesis and causing disruption of gas exchange processes.
- Brownish tubercles on the leaves and stem of the orchid indicate the appearance of the scale insect, which lives by feeding on the plant's cell sap. First of all, the scabbard settles on the back of the leaf, then moving to the root zone, stem, inflorescences. As the tubercle grows, the processes of photosynthesis in the leaf are disrupted, and parts of the plant begin to die.
This is how the affected leaves look:
What is the danger of such insects?
All insects that parasitize plants live off their cell sap... Sticky plaque, damage to leaves, roots cause disturbances in the processes of photosynthesis and gas exchange. As a result, the growth of the orchid slows down, and in the absence of insect control, the death of the flower is possible.
Why can they start in the ground, on roots and leaves?
Pests in a flower garden do not appear by themselves - parasite infestation occurs for several reasons. Experienced flower growers include:
- systematic overflow;
- poor quality substrate;
- infection from other indoor plants;
- purchase of a plant with parasites.
Source of infection
If the plant has not been transplanted recently, and new flowers have not appeared in the house, then flaws in the care are the cause of the appearance of bugs.
Stagnant water leads to rotting of the bark, in which parasites can easily start... In the bark of a pine tree, which flower growers like to use as a soil for orchids, various bugs live in natural conditions.
Such a neighborhood is invisible for a tree, but for a phalaenopsis or dendrobium it can become destructive. It is better to use a special filler, which includes not only the bark, but also:
- coconut fiber.
The finished substrate has good moisture holding capacity and the required air permeability.
Many gardeners like to plant indoor flowers in an open front garden in the spring. Together with nutrients, Kalanchoe or geranium are quite capable of "picking up" scale insects or aphids. In the fall, this living creature will be in the indoor flower garden. Similarly, you can bring bugs with a purchased copy.
How can you not fight?
You need to start pest control at the first signs of their appearance.
- Dry air promotes the rapid reproduction of parasites, so some growers begin to regularly spray orchids in the hope of raising the humidity to the required level and getting rid of bugs. This method is dangerous because insects get additional time for reproduction and development.
- It is believed that ultraviolet radiation is capable of destroying pests. This is one of the most common myths. You can really get rid of insects with biological, chemical preparations or folk remedies.
Home treatments: how to get rid of?
At the first sign of an orchid infection, it must be isolated from other flowers.... After that, the degree of infestation of the flower is assessed, a method of combating insects is selected. Before any treatment, mechanical removal is carried out:
- traces of their vital activity;
- as well as sluggish leaves and shoots.
If there is a suspicion of contamination of the substrate, it should be thoroughly spilled with water or replaced. Then it is worth starting treatment.
From thin white hairy
You can get rid of the mealybug using folk methods:
- One way is to spray the flower with a solution of water and olive oil.... Two tablespoons of oil are introduced into two liters of water and the infected specimen is sprayed twice a day.
- For another way to deal with bugs, you need garlic.... Half the head of the root crop is crushed, poured with half a liter of boiling water and infused for 4 hours. The tincture is used to wipe the leaves and stem of the orchid.
- You can also spray with water infused with orange peels.... To do this, pour 50 grams of boiling water in a liter. crusts and withstand the infusion for a day.
- And another method that has shown its effectiveness is the treatment of the orchid with a soap-alcohol solution... To get a remedy for parasites, you need to rub laundry soap (1 tbsp. Spoon) in a liter of water. Then add 15 ml to the solution. ethyl alcohol and mix thoroughly. The plant is treated three times a week after preliminary mechanical cleaning of the flower from bugs.
The biological method of control is the use of insects that eat the mealybug. These include larvae:
- gummy fly;
- common gold-domed;
If there are too many bugs, then it is better to prefer chemical treatment to folk methods.
They do an excellent job with the worm:
- Aktara and others.
Plants need to be processed three times to completely destroy insects. Re-treatment is carried out 10 and 20 days after the first spraying.
From the little blacks
Traditional methods are used to combat thrips.:
- Turpentine and minced garlic are placed in a bag with an infected orchid for three to four hours.
- You can spray the leaves and stem of the flower with tincture of medicinal dandelion or tagetis. The flowers of plants are poured with boiling water and insisted (tagetis - up to two days, and dandelion is enough to insist for three hours).
As a biological method, specially bred bugs and ticks are used, which eat pest larvae. This method does not guarantee complete elimination of parasites, because adult bugs (which ticks and bugs do not feed on) continue to lay eggs.
In case of significant infection, it is better to use chemicals.:
- "Phosphamide", "Rogor" in the form of sprays.
- "Aktara" (granules).
- "Actellikt" (emulsion).
What to do to prevent the plant from getting sick again?
- To prevent infection with parasites, newly acquired or returned flowers from the dacha will be quarantined for two weeks. At this time, the plants should be kept in a separate room from the main flower garden under close scrutiny.
- To prevent infection, it is necessary to select the correct watering regime so that the substrate has time to dry out between operations, and to carry out regular spraying, increasing the humidity of the air.
- When transplanting an orchid, it is better to use a quality substrate of a well-known manufacturer, and when using the bark, it must be heat treated.
In order to prevent bugs from appearing on orchids, it is necessary to systematically carry out a preventive examination. Such an event will allow you to detect the problem in time, apply the most gentle methods of dealing with parasites and prevent infection of the entire flower garden.
Watch a video about which insects can infect an orchid: