have several palms that are both indoors and outdoors and of varying
variety, i.e., Alexandria, silver date, triangular, Chinese windmill,
cocoas, kentia. The plants are all in their juvenile stages at the
moment (around 15-30 cms high) and are in pots. The problem lies
with a bug infestation on the leaves and stems. These bugs are small,
round (around 2-3 mm) white, dome shaped bugs, sometimes being brown
in the middle. I visited a plant centre and was told that they are
mealy bugs and was given Confidor spray to eradicate them. This
spray does not seem to be working and the bugs keep returning to
the palms. Could you please provide some help regarding this problem?
bugs are scale insect and are quite common on palms. Spray with
Conqueror Oil (also known as Protector Oil) and Confidor mixed together.
Because scale insect have a hard shell, it is hard for the spray
to penetrate on its own; the Conqueror Oil gives improved control.
Repeat spray at 8-10 day intervals.
Alternatively, a systemic
spray such as Orthene can be used. A systemic spray is one that
is absorbed into the plant and carried in the sap. The spray is
ingested by the insect when it feeds on the plant, and so does not
rely on contact with the insect, giving better control. Repeat sprays
will be required at 7-10 day intervals. Orthene has an unpleasant
smell and should not be used indoors.
Conqueror Oil and Confidor
should be effective.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH