Brown Scale on ferns
- Subject: [ferns] Brown Scale on ferns
- From: Bob Needham <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 18:29:02 -0700 (PDT)
O.K., before I nuke my plant collection to sve the planet, I figured
that I need to learn a little bit more about the enemy. That's right,
I'm talking about the terrorists of the turf, the Taliban of the fern
As soon as I notice scale, I take the infected plant to a separate room, "The Hospital".
It's about 50 feet away, and if I was a bug their size with their
(probably) short lifespan, I figure that's like me trying to walk from
California to New York without food or water over terrain like the Grand
Canyon (carpet). So that should work, right? I fastidiously wash my hands after touching infected plants. I have been treating them with a Pyrethrin (0.02%) and Piperonyl Butoxide (0.2%) commercial spray that claims to kill both thrips & scale. I have been diluting it to 50% with water (adding a drop of liquid dish soap as a surfactant) because it seems to really whack the ferns.
When I treat an infected plant, I spray, then hand-inspect all surfaces with a 10X loupe, scraping up and disturbing any scale I see with an X-Acto blade, letting my Witches Brew do it's deadly task! BWAAA-Haa-Haa! This does seem to be effective. Plants are then inspected every few days, and treated again if necessary. If the plant shows no more signs of infection after a week or two, it goes to a separate "Recovery Room" for another week or two for observation. Plants in these rooms do not touch, and I do more handwashing than a doctor. If the plants then seem to be "clean" they are then allowed to return to normal civilian life, providing Oxygen for my few remaining brain cells.
O.K., here's the questions:
1) I've already figured out that Thrips can fly (I've swatted a few and put their sorry little mangled remains under the ferocious glare of a stereomicroscope). It's a little like trying to figure out what kind of a watch it was before a truck ran over it, but if you get enough samples (and learn to swat gently), one can figure it out eventually.
2) Here's the main question: All the scale I've seen leads me to believe that they are pathetic little feeble slimebutts with brains the size of DUST-MOTES, SO WHY ARE THEY OUTSMARTING ME!@!!!!!!!O.K., O.K., I got a little carried away there... BREATHE! O.K., I'm better now. But seriously, folks
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