Saturday, February 19, 2011

Insect killing on orchids

Formula 409 concentrate, red dye and alcohol

I make my own insect spray. This stuff is good for mealybugs and aphids as well as a first level attack on scale.

I take a quart of alcohol and divide it into two quart bottles and add water so that each is 2/3 full. Then I take a cap full of Formula 409 concentrate that has had some red food coloring added and put that into one of the bottles. I finish off by pouring back and forth between the two bottles until the soap is evenly mixed. This is the mixture I keep in a spray bottle in the greenhouse. The mixture has a pink color to it so I know I am not picking up the wrong sprayer.

This cannot be used on flowers. It is not strong enough for scale, although it will kill the visible insects. For mealybugs and aphids, all that is needed is to rinse the bug bodies off the plant. It is safe for indoor use.

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