hort.net Seasonal photo, (c) 2006 Christopher P. Lindsey, All Rights Reserved: do not copy
articles | gallery of plants | blog | tech blog | plant profiles | patents | mailing lists | top stories | links | shorturl service | tom clothier's archive0
Gallery of Plants
Tech Blog
Plant Profiles
Mailing Lists
    Search ALL lists
    Search help
    Subscription info
Top Stories
sHORTurl service
Tom Clothier's Archive
 Top Stories
Disease could hit Britain's trees hard

Ten of the best snowdrop cultivars

Plant protein database helps identify plant gene functions

Dendroclimatologists record history through trees

Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

Hawaii expands coffee farm quarantine

Study explains flower petal loss

Unauthorized use of a plant doesn't invalidate it's patent

RSS story archive

Re: [aroid-l] Amorph Blues

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Amorph Blues
  • From: Dan Levin <levin@pixar.com>
  • Date: Sun, 04 Jul 2004 15:06:59 -0700


I must respectfully suggest that adding vinegar to your spray mix
resulted in a net positive only due to the buffering of your water's
pH, which resulted in greater efficacy of the diluted insecticidal
solution-- and not due to some acidic dissolution of body parts.
May I venture a guess that your tap has a somewhat high pH/
alkalinity/ hardness ?

Certain insecticidal compounds exhibit an "ideal" pH range and
become less toxic to target pests outside of this zone.  Indeed,
many products specify a pH value which the tank mix must be
buffered to prior to application for best results (almost always
towards the acidic side of neutral).

I further suspect -but freely admit I am not an entomologist- that
spraying mealy bugs w/ lightly acidified water; i.e. spraying with only
a vinegar solution & no other insecticide- would merely result in soggy
mealy's with their exoskeletons fully intact.  You're likely to destroy
your plants before you reach a potential capable of "dissolving the
mealy's shells", either in part or whole.

Potential confusion over the effects of acidity may derive from the
common use of boric acid in the battle against cockroaches & other
crawling insects.  In this case however, the insecticidal properties of
boric acid have nothing to do with it being an "acid" but rather, the
absorbent quality each salt crystal or particle has (same principle applies
to diatomaceous earth, silica gel, etc.).  Hence a passing insect which
contacts the material has a patch of cuticle wax absorbed, resulting in
the insect slowly dehydrating via the breach.

In any event, if adding vinegar to your spray results in mealy slaying
synergistic pest control with no visible phytotoxicity, just keep doing it
whatever the reason!


Neil Gordon wrote:

> On another note, I had an infestation of mealy bugs last year, and i
> couldnt get rid of them until someone here suggested putting a little
> vinegar in the insecticde as it dissolved their shells.
> Does this acidic mix adversely harm or stunt the plants?
> The mix worked well on the Aloes they were munching - the bugs were
> unstoppable til i used that stuff!

Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index

 © 1995-2015 Mallorn Computing, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
Our Privacy Statement