I am wondering about the use of malathion in african violets. I had tried it once and burned the leaves with it. Since I have heard about folks using it regularly I would love to know how to do it properly without damaging my plants. Also, what about using distilled waters for african violets?
I do use marathon granules and an insecticidal soap spray but I am concerned I could miss other critters.
You should be pretty well covered with Marathon. That usually gets rid of most of the bad pests or at least keeps them at bay.
I use Malathion at about half the strength that's suggested for outdoor plants and always try on one leaf before spraying the whole plant. Also, I only use it on mealies because I have had bad experiences with them in the past and go into overkill mode when I see only one. For anything else I just use Neem.
Personally I haven't found any difference between using distilled/demineralized water and tap water but others might very well have other experiences in that regard. Also make sure that the water isn't too cold to prevent spotting.
I try not to use insecticides,other than Safer Soaps once in awhile.Back in the old days I dipped my plants regularly in Malathion,at a lower dosage than the label said for indoor plants.I never had any damage.I am not recommending this,because Malathion is nothing to fool around with.It is not as safe as many think.Always wear heavy gloves and a mask.It is not really for indoor use.
In order to spray a plant, I take it to the back porch, spray and wait until the plant is dry again. I never use Malathion in my living area. It definitely is for outdoor use. And even then, I wear gloves and mask.
The thing is that even the insecticides that are deemed "safe" for indoor use, like the natural or synthetic Pyrethroids for example, have been repeatedly tested and found anything but safe for indoor use.
The only spray insecticide that is halfways safe for indoor use that I know of and that I have successfully used is Neem.
Again: I use Malathion on mealies and plants that were outdoors for Summer and I never use it inside but on the back porch.
A good rule is to treat ANY insecticide as a toxic substance and to use the necessary precautions every time.
It can't be stressed enough just how important prevention is. From correct watering to proper grooming. Healthy plants need much less or no insecticides and other toxins than stressed and unhappy plants.
Thanks for all the info. I am trying to do better with my pest control and sanitation around my plants. I have had some problems in the past with powdery mildew and mites so I am doing more preventative care and I want to do the best I can for my gessies without harming them. I have started using Physan 20 for the plants and spraying the trays too.
I do have insecticidal soap and the marathon, and I hoping that between those and the Physan 20 I am pretty well covered. I have also used the Raid Flying Insect in a plastic bag method and that seems to work well without harming the plants.
I did have a gnat problem but since hanging up sticky bug tape that cleared up within 3 or 4 days.
I do use gloves and a mask with insecticides because I have a lot of orchids so I am using to protecting myself in that respect.
I have used spray Lysol in the past and I was also reading a paper by Thad Scaggs who use the Lysol in the brown bottle and mixes that up and uses it, so I have started doing that also. I am wondering if the Physan 20 will take care of any powdery mildew though?