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Orchid Pests and Solutions

February 24, 2010

There a three main orchid pest threats to your orchid plants.

1) Spider Mites - They appear in hot, dry conditions. Various insects and predatory mites feed on spider mites and provide a high level of natural control.

2) Mealy Bugs - Look for cotton-like spots on the leaves. Small infestations may not inflict significant damage. In larger amounts though, they can induce leaf drop.

3) Scale Insects - They secrete a waxy coating for defense; this coating causes them to resemble reptilian scales or fish scales, hence the name.

To protect your orchids from these pests, you can find horticultural oil or insecticidal soap at any garden center – dilute it with water and it won’t harm you, your plants, or pets. Biological control – which involves introducing predator insects, parasites or bacteria to battle the bugs is another option.

We’ve also found some organic, safe and natural suggestions you might want to try. You can find more information on all of these at the following links:

Organic Pesticides - Remember, just because a pesticide is organic doesn't mean it's not toxic. Here’s a list of the most used and their effectiveness and downfalls.

Least Toxic Pesticides - Reminds us that the same precautions should be taken in the use of "less toxic pesticides" as with synthetic pesticides. Relying heavily on the use of any pesticide is an un-ecological practice.

Organic Gardens - Safe, all-natural pesticides that can be concocted from inexpensive ingredients that often are already around the house.

Avian Web - Helps you choose methods that won’t harm birds, ladybugs, butterflies, pets or children. Many herbs and essential oils are effective alternative solutions.

EcoSmart review by SafBaby - Organic, Chemical-Free, and All Natural Insecticides by EcoSMART. “Organic oils such as peppermint and cinnamon are blended in a way that really does smell delightful” and it’s effective too.