how to treat cochineal scale on cactus

When the eggs hatch, the nymphs feed on the plant for three weeks, moving all around the plant. The next step is to kill the cochineal using organic methods and products for pest control. At least three cochineal scale (Dactylopiidae) species occur in California. GAVIN THOMAS Sad, but sure. It attacks only cactus plants Opuntia sp. If the infestation of scale is minimal, cochineal scale treatment consists simply of a spray of water. Some observations on the cochineal scale insect of cactus (Dactylopius opuntiae) (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) in Morocco The cochineal scale insect appears in Morocco for the first time in Saniet Bergig (Morocco) by the end of 2014. It is an insect native to the New World, which was used by the Aztecs for dying and painting. How do you manage cochineal scale (mealybug infestation) on your Opuntias? There are several predators that you can acquire and incorporate into the plantation to combat the cottony cochineal such as Mealybug Ladybird or Mealybug Destroyer and Citripar Parasitic wasp. If your plants suffer from recurring infestations, you must replace the earth . In addition to washing well with water and soap pots and trays. Same genus, different species. If the cactus seems to be heavily infested, you may have to go with a chemical cochineal scale treatment. Check and treat an orchid cactus that spends the summer outside before bringing it in for the winter. My prized Prickly Pear has a very serious infestation of Cochineal Scale. They appear as a white fuzz on the pads where the chochineal scale bugs hide. Scale insects are usually found in clusters on shady, protected parts of the plant. They look like flattened barnacles. This innocuous looking tuft of white is actually the home of the cochineal scale insect. Poor air circulation, heat and humidity make cochineal scale worse. Spain had a monopoly on the cochineal dye market for about 250 years until scale-laden cactus pads were surreptitiously exported — by the French and … Do you know which is the natural predator of the cochineal? They are the ladybugs. You can use them if you are growing your succulents outdoors. You can buy ladybugs online and introduce them to the garden. Cochineal scales—Dactylopius spp. The once beautiful cactus is covered with the white waxy coating produced by the female Cochineal insect. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. It is characterized by its red color because of the carmine secretion. Malathion and triazide combined with Neem oil or Volck dormant oil spray should do the trick. The females, wingless and about 5 mm (0.20 in) long, cluster on cactus pads. It looks like white sticky mounds-- or tissue paper that has dried on the plants. of dish soap to a gallon (4 L.) of water. Cochineal scale bugs attack cholla and prickly pear. If your suculrntas is infected with hard body scale insects, the simplest way to treat them is to simply remove the branch or leaves that are affected. Cochineal scale. Typically these are found on Opuntia species that are grown in the ground. There's a world of cochineal species, but the mealybug and the brown soft scale insect are the ones that put a major threat to us. This cochineal scale insect is a close cousin to the actual cochineal scale that was used at the time. The first thing you should do is move the infected plant away from the healthy ones . Both produce the scarlet dye but technically not the same insect. Cochineal Scale usually appears on Prickly pears and Chollas, but can attack other cacti. It attacks only cactus plants Opuntia sp. When the eggs hatch, the nymphs feed on the plant for three weeks, moving all around the plant. After washing the pots you must disinfect them . You can use a cloth and alcohol for this job. If you see a white insect similar to a tick, you have a cottony cochineal. Inspect your plants regularly to detect pests and any problems they have. May 17, 2019, 12:43 pm. Wenn Sie Feigenkaktus- oder Cholla-Kakteen in Ihrer Landschaft haben, wurden Sie wahrscheinlich mit einer baumwollweißen Masse auf der Oberfläche der Pflanzen konfrontiert. by GAVIN THOMAS May 21, 2019, 10:27 pm. How to treat cochineal scale on cactus. More: How to Treat Cochineal Scale on Cactus and my YouTube video (2:01). The eggs hatch into nymphs (called crawlers) that feed for about three weeks before settling and becoming immobile. For more information please refer to the documentation. It is characterized by its red color because of the carmine secretion. There favorite place to hide is right where the leaves meet the stem. Treatment for control is the same. As a last resort, treat the cactus with a synthetic insecticide containing malathion as the active ingredient. The males are extremely small, elongated white crawlers. The cochineal scale insect appears in Morocco for the firsttime in Saniet Bergig (Morocco) by the end of 2014. To kill the cochineal mealybug, use a hose end sprayer. Spray again in 7 days and then again 14 days after the first application. If the infestation is severe, pads or entire plants may need to be removed. If you have prickly pear or cholla cacti in your landscape, you’ve probably been confronted with a cottony white mass on the surface of the plants. What do I do ? This will expose and weaken the scale bugs, which can then be treated with an insecticidal soap or a mix of ½ teaspoon (2.5 mL.) Simply spray the alcohol directly on the cochineals. Check the hard-to-see places near the stem and under the leaves. You will notice that the white will disappear and only a small black insect will remain. How to treat cottony cochineal in cacti and succulents. Lorecentral.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, How to eliminate the cottony cochineal from your succulents and cactus, How to know if I have a cottony cochineal on cactus or succulents, How to treat cottony cochineal in cacti and succulents, How to prevent the cottony cochineal from returning,                                              Cottony scale on leaves of succulents. Read more articles about General Cactus Care. One good way to confirm that your Optunia cactus has a cochineal bug infestation is to carefully scrape off some of the white fungi-like material (see photo below). The cochineal, or “crimson,” scale has played what is perhaps a unique role for insects on the world stage, having parts in textile manufacturing, territorial conquest, international commerce, cosmetic production, food … If many people grow cactuses in your area, it may be almost impossible to prevent all infestations of cochineal scale. Your email address will not be published. The next step is to kill the cochineal using organic methods and products for pest control. I do not recommend using synthetic pesticides, because mealybugs are resistant to most chemical pesticides . Succulents with soft leaves. Do not spray on hot, sunny days, as the plant is likely to burn from the dormant oil. Identify the insect by crushing it. Cochineal scale will emit a dye when crushed. Cochineal scale looks like white sticky mounds on the surface of the cactus. It's difficult to get rid of if not caught early. Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder that can kill mealybugs by piercing their bodies. Spray a good amount on the succulents and on the ground. If you were to remove the mass and crush it on a piece of paper, the result would be a smear of vibrant red, a tell-tale sign of the presence of cochineal scale bugs. The cottony, waxy mass is produced to shelter the female insects and their eggs. Do not just move it a little, move it to another room. If the weather is too hot to use dormant oil, use pesticide mixed with dish soap. GAVIN THOMAS I share some home remedies for the cottony scale. Improving your life knowledge health and family. Although they are visible to the human eye they are good at playing hide and seek. They tend to form wedges in places that are difficult to see. For example, in the lower part of the leaves and the pots. These scales produce a vivid red dye, called cochineal or carmine, sometimes used as a natural coloring agent in cosmetics and beverages. Inside are cochineal bugs -- if crushed, a purple die exudes. These sucking insects feed only on cacti, usually on prickly pear (Nopalea, Opuntia, and Platyopuntia spp. Widespread on prickly pear plants in the southwestern United States, these scales look like whitish deposits across the surface of the cactus pad. Cochineal scale on cactus is initially a nuisance but, in extreme infestations, can weaken and kill the plant. You’ll know if the scale is being killed off when the white cottony tufts turn gray and squeezing them doesn’t result in a red smear. Like the mealy bugs ... How to eliminate the cottony cochineal from your succulents and cactus. Alcohol (70% isopropyl) is the # 1 remedy for cochineals. Do not use cotton swabs (Q-tips) or cotton balls. It is easier and more effective to use a spray bottle. 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