Re: [gardeners] Re: Hummingbirds and mealybugs

margaret lauterbach (
Wed, 15 Mar 2000 13:44:45 -0700

At 12:37 PM 3/15/2000 -0800, you wrote:
>Hi, and thanks for your input. I will try that this afternoon, first. The
problem with
>the nest is that it is attached to the face of one of the leaves in the most
>heavily-infested areas. I am also afraid of blasting the mealy bugs all
over the other
>plants in the area.
>Normally, mealybugs don't attack anything we eat, and I feel reasonably
safe in using a
>systemic. Not in this case.
>A fellow from our local nursery recommended pyrethrin, some of which I
bought. One can
>use that right up until harvest, which means I can use it on our blood
orange this week,
>which has its first ripe fruit ready to pick:)
>I can also use this insecticide to attack red spider mites on the citrus
and the black
>nasties on the artichokes. It is reputedly much safer than malathion, as
this new-to-me
>insecticide is made from chrysanthemum extract.
>Thanks again for your kind suggestion.

Ron, just because a pesticide is plant-based, that does not make it safe.
Check the LD (lethal dose) on pyrethrin. I've forgotten what it is, but as
I recall, it's quite low (that means it doesn't take much to kill). Water
won't blast mealybugs off that vine. If the nest is occupied, you shouldn't
get near it, but if it's not occupied, move in with a spray bottle of
rubbing alcohol. That will kill mealybugs. And do wear safety gear if you
use pyrethrins in the citrus. George, any comments? Margaret L