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Re: Brown Scale on ferns

	Bob, you don't have to wonder about the horrid suckers, you can point 
a warm to hot light at the adults, they are reputedly sedentary, and 
with your loupe watch them pick up their skirts and head for cooler 
climes!  In fact, it is a horrifying show.  Then there is the mobility 
of the crawlers, which I'll bet is a lot greater than you might 
imagine.  They are nothing except a little blob of body, antennae and 
long, long legs.  They would be great airfoils, as Louis suggests.
	There is an insecticide called icpricorde (not spelled right - I'll 
check in morning) that is a root absorbed systemic, and will kill any 
bug that eats the the tissues of a plant that has been treated with it. 
  It is found in a rose food made by Bayer, along with a systemic 
fungicide, and as the sole active ingredient in GrubX to treat lawns 
for ......TADA.......grubs.   Probably other products as well.  Anyway, 
I am going to treat my houseplants while it is still warm here, and try 
to clear all the fungus gnats out while I have the chance.  My guess is 
that it will do a number on scale, too.  The treatment should last for 
a week or more, and one would hope that the various chewing and sucking 
pests would come out in that time, and if not  a second treatment 
should do the trick.    Has anyone else tried this stuff?

Betty in South Bend IN,
where summer was long and mild, and the fall is just around the corner!

On Sep 9, 2004, at 8:29 PM, Bob Needham wrote:

> ferns@hort.net,
> 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
> world, SCALE!
> 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 
> O.K., I got a little carried away there... BREATHE!  O.K., I'm better 
> now. But seriously, folks
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