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Potted Plant Pest Purge

ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morningAnd the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
I have some potted baby trees on my deck because we have no yard... unfortunately I think the soil may have been contaminated with thripps. They're in desperate need of repotting, and I'll be buying new soil for that, but I don't really want to bring the thripps into the new soil. There are not a ton of ways to get rid of thripps that aren't going to kill something else I want around, but my father-in-law, who has successfully grown all kinds of things in all kinds of places, had two suggestions:

1. They're in pots which aren't objectively huge, so submerge them to a couple inches above the surface of the soil in water for 5 minutes or so. He says it doesn't much matter what kind of bug you've got, they're coming to the surface if they're under water. Then skim the surface, drain the pot of water, and keep an eye on the soil for a bit. I'd worry more about rot but frankly these suckers aren't going to stay wet, it's Vegas in August and nothing stays wet for long. It's entirely possible they could use a decent soak.

2. Neem oil. I'm not sure exactly how to use it or where to find it yet, but it looks okay for bees and other nice things I want. None of which are out right now anyway because it's too damn hot. Going outside is like walking into Satan's fart trail.

Are either of these ideas even a little bit good? I probably have a matter of days to get this repotting done before one of the trees reaches a point of no return and I know I have to do everything more or less at once to prevent the re-spread of these things.

And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn

Posts

  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    They're both effective and I'd use them in combination.

    1. As you re-pot them, spray off the plants as well to dislodge any adults. Plants can handle being submerged for 5 minutes. Bugs, not so much.
    2. Neem oil comes either in a a spray bottle or 100% (usually). Anyway, you can get it off amazon or basicly any major plant store. Take 1 litre of warm water, add 1 tsp of neem oil and then add 1/2 teaspoon of natural soap (or simply dip a bar of soap in the bucket while stirring until the neem oil has dissolved (neem oil will not dissolve in water without an emulsifier like soap). Water&Soap will kill insects anyway, but the neem oil makes it more effective. it adds anti-fungal properties and it makes the solution stickier so that it's effective for a longer period of time. Put it in a spray bottle and apply on a weekly basis for the first month and then every two weeks until you're no longer have a bug problem. If the solution starts to have a negative effect on your plants, dilute it with another litre of water.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
    ElvenshaeNightDragonceres
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Should I avoid the leaves with neem oil and stick to soap, and just spray the neem oil into the soil? And how saturated are we talking here?

    I assume I should not do this while re-potting.. and should not spray anything into the roots while doing so. Also, the soil I like to use has all this nice supportive bacteria and stuff and I love it, but is it safe to assume the neem oil will kill all that? This was obviously not that soil, that'll teach me to try new things.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    @Fiendishrabbit I just have to say, with all the recent nature threads you have been on fire lately

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Elvenshae
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    The tl;dr; advice is spray the leaves and trunk lightly. Just a misting. Do not spray into the soil. Whatever is down in the soil can live down there in peace, while the fuckers that eat your leaves can get the death they deserve.

    The a bit longer reply is that the water&soap makes it a very bad idea for insects to be on the plant itself (it interferes with soft-shelled insect and dries them out). The neem oil helps with that (by making the solution stay on the plant for longer). But the neem oil actually has more properties. It's an anti-fungicide, and (which I didn't know before I researched it) it contains a steroid component that interferes with insect molting. Which basicly means that any larvae or molting insect that eats off your plants will die the next time it molts. Also, your plants will smell slightly like garlic&peanuts. Which can be a good/bad thing.

    Neem oil and soap at that low concentration has no effect on bacteria unless you drown them in it. So, light misting of trunk&leaves (basicly any surface the insects feed off).

    Fiendishrabbit on
    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
    Elvenshae
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    @Fiendishrabbit I just have to say, with all the recent nature threads you have been on fire lately

    What can I say. I have an excellent memory for useless facts and completely crazy/dedicated biology teachers from highschool and onwards (which is good and bad. You don't want to remember lectures on Simulium Damnosum. Trust me).

    This however is basic horticulture.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
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