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Old 01-05-2014, 11:41 AM
 
94 posts, read 309,415 times
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I bought a dragon tree about four months ago and recently noticed a cottony substance forming on the leaves. I at first thought it was an accumulation of dust so I wiped everything down with a wet cloth, but the "dust" returned about a week later. Knowing that my house isn't THAT dusty I did a quick Google search and discovered I have a bug house sitting in my living room. Gross. I really don't want to get rid of my tree, but I also don't want to play host to a parasite colony. I have looked into home remedies for bug removal (solutions of dish soap and water and oil, also one with baby shampoo), but I thought I'd check with you guys before dousing my tree with a bunch of soap. Anyone have any success stories on debugging houseplants? Thanks!
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:44 AM
 
Location: SC
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I place some dish soap in a sprayer, dilute it down, place plant in shower or bath. Spray the whole thing down with soap mix and let sit a bit, then spray/rinse with clear water.

If you have some diatomaceous earth, you could cover the plant with that powder first, then rinse it off the next day, before doing the soap treatment, just be sure not to inhale it as it is a lung irritant.
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:36 PM
 
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Thanks so much! I'm going to give this a shot.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Delmarva Peninsula
9,154 posts, read 13,151,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmachina View Post
I place some dish soap in a sprayer, dilute it down, place plant in shower or bath. Spray the whole thing down with soap mix and let sit a bit, then spray/rinse with clear water.
Great suggestion! I use the dish soap spray for all of my house plants, for boxelder bugs outside coming from my neighbor's boxelder tree, and also my roses and tomato plants. Better than inhaling chemicals.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:58 PM
 
13,518 posts, read 18,382,652 times
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I use dish soap too, but I add a half dozen drops of veg oil as well, and shake like crazy, then spray it on.
I think Bmachina's suggestion is a GOOD one...probably do the trick...good luck OP
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
46,536 posts, read 57,937,299 times
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I am a fan of systemic bug killers. Just sprinkle on the soil and water. It is what I do before I bring any plant inside for the winter.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Sarasota FL
6,864 posts, read 11,372,264 times
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Description of the bug seems to be the dreaded 'mealy bug'. Very difficult to eradicate. Try dish soap in water with rubbing alcohol in a sprayer. Spray under leaves and where leaf joins stem. Must be done daily for weeks.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:05 PM
 
346 posts, read 511,363 times
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Yup, it's probably the mealy bug. I battled an infestation on my two mini bonsai trees a couple of months ago. Diluted soap did not work, neither did a couple drops of olive oil. I think it has to do with the TYPE of liquid soap, as some brand work better than others? Anyways, I ended up buying Safe Brand Insect Killing Soap from Amazon which killed off all the bugs as well as the babies.

Here's the link:
Amazon.com: Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap, 32 oz.: Patio, Lawn & Garden

Remember to rinse the leaves first, then spray. Make sure to spray under the leaves. I had to spray twice or maybe three times in order to kill off the baby bugs before they lay their eggs to eradicate them all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by d4g4m View Post
Description of the bug seems to be the dreaded 'mealy bug'. Very difficult to eradicate. Try dish soap in water with rubbing alcohol in a sprayer. Spray under leaves and where leaf joins stem. Must be done daily for weeks.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:34 AM
 
94 posts, read 309,415 times
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After a couple of treatments with the dish soap, water, oil solution, the bugs are certainly diminishing but aren't completely gone. I'm going to keep at it though.
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