Monday, September 19, 2011

Insect Cleaner

Starting to hang plants in the growing area

I made a batch of insect cleaner last night. I use a lot of it even if I don't see bugs. It kills on contact by dehydrating the insects. Keep away from flowers.

My method is to mix two quarts of isopropyl alcohol, two cap-fulls of Formula 409 concentrate (that has added red food coloring) and a quart of water. I do it by pouring back and forth but if you have a funnel a gallon container to mix in would be easier.

I spray the buggy plant all over (including the roots if re-potting) wash bug bodies off with a water spray. Finally, Bayer Complete all over if I actually saw bugs.

Starting to hang plants in the growing area

The Google+ group is working well so far. I have a circle devoted only to orchid posts and I want to be in your orchids-only circle. We are getting some trading done and getting to know each other.

If you need a Google+ invitation go to this page to get my email address and I will send you one.


  1. I heard a similar mix from another orchid grower. 8oz of 409, 8oz of Isopropyl Alcohol, mixed in a gallon of water.
    I will have to try this.
    Thanks for posting. I really enjoy the blog.

  2. That sounds a little weak. You can actually use the isoproply straight from the bottle. The soap is a wetting agent to get the alcohol through the waxy shell on some species. Spraying is better than daubing since the majority of insects are too small to see and you clean dust off the leaves at the same time.

    I use the 409 concentrate. A little goes a long ways.

  3. I have been squirting straight isoprop. onto a Q-tip and dabbing. I think I'll try your way now. I find the straight stuff evaporates too fast out of my spray bottle. And I hadn't even thought about the 'too small to see' bit. Good point, that.

  4. If you actually saw bugs, how are you using Bayer Complete? I love your site. Have been reading the archives. Amazing wealth of information!

  5. Step one, spray with alcohol mix all over. Step two, spray with water knocking off all visible bugs. Step three, spray all over with Bayer.

    I use the Bayer three-in-one as the fertilizer. That takes care of keeping it clean.