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Re: Fighting the fuzz


Wettable Orthene is not truly benign to the sparyer despite the manufacturers claim. The fumes from opening a can can bring on a migraine headache in minutes. However it is remarkably safe for ferns even mature Adiantum foliage. There are Orthene aerosol bombs that can be used in conjunction with Resmethrin aerosol bombs for large enough enclosed areas such as greenhouses.These do have a min and max temprature range for efficacy. But one of my favorite methods of dealing with scale or mealy infestations that folks pass along to me is to wipe or spray with rubbing alcohol. This method is more labor intensive but it does guarantee a close examination of the plants. I have never had any foliar damage from using a rubbing alcohol wipe. I have even used a spritz bottle to get fine foliage or difficult crown areas. If you miss and spray yourself you will just be very sterile. Isolating the infected plants is a good idea as scale insects have a flying stage that greenhouse fans waft about into everything!
Judith I. Jones
Fancy Fronds Nursery

Shelley Dillard wrote:

Hi All!
Won't use Orthene.  Nasty stuff.
I've had great success with Safe-T-Side oil on many ferns (not maidenhairs).
Slight damage, but kills the scale.

Also, for earwigs, cutworms, sowbugs, pillbugs, and slugs I use a new product (to me, anyway) Sluggo-Plus. It contains spinosad, a naturally occurring soil dwelling bacterum and iron phosphate. So far it's been effective.


At 12:38 PM 1/14/2008, you wrote:
Anyone have a good solution for fighting the white fuzz I've got on my
ferns?  I've relegated several ferns to the outdoors since they
developed a scale (?) problem, but with the collection I've got, I
really don't want to run the risk of this going viral and taking over
the yard.  I made the mistake of bringing in one fern last year that it
turns out had been under a tree with a scale infestation, and now I'm up
a creek.  I know ferns are notorious for sensitivity to pesticides and
such, and every label I've read says 'not for ferns,' or something
equally as cautionary...  Do any of these garlic sprays or whatever
actually work?

  Thanks much all!


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Shelley Dillard
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
100 Northwestern Ave.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19118
phone:  215-247-5777 x118
email:  rdillard@pobox.upenn.edu
web site:  http://www.morrisarboretum.org

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein
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