I have been told that I can control these little buggar's by mixing half Metholated Spirits and half water, would anybody know if this is true.
I seam to have an outbreak in my front garden and not the back, except in the Hippies outback.
Pic # 1
Mealy Bugs in my Hippies and on my Jade Plant.....URGENT!
I have no idea what metholated spirits are, I have a feeling we probably call it something completely different here. I take a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) and clean them off with that.
In Australia, we call rubbing alcohol........Metholated Spirits( 96% Ethanol).
So, you just use it neat, without anything added, like water to dilute it??
I thought it might be too strong on it's own??
I used a diluted dishwashing liquid mix, forgetting not to use that on my jade.
Do you think I would have hurt my Jade Plants??
Isopropyl alcohol is rubbing alcohol.
Sold in many strengths up to 100%.
96% ethanol is sold here as denatured alcohol (they add methonol so you can't drink it).
Some states can't sell 100% ethanol over the counter.
Wood alcohol,methonol,is often sold as shellac or paint remover.
So what does that mean in the way of using on our plants, do you know?
Can it be used on the plants or would it kill them?
I was told 50/50 Metho to water, does that round right to you?
I just use the straight rubbing alcohol out of the bottle, but I'm not sure what concentration it is (it's whatever drugstores typically sell). I wouldn't put a high concentration right on the plant, but when you're using a Q-tip and just wiping the mealies off, you're not really touching very much of the plant with it. I'm sure the 50/50 would work too.
I am so upset right now :-(
I used that dishwashing thing for the very first time and it looks like a magority of my plants are dying.
Should I have just put it where the Mealy Bugs where and not all over the plant?
Can anyone tell me how I might save my plants?????
I've never heard of dilute dish soap hurting any plants. Unless maybe you used the antibacterial kind of dish soap and used a bit too much of it? Or was it soap that's meant for the dishwasher rather than for handwashing dishes? The stuff in the dishwasher products is much stronger and probably not at all good for plants. If it hasn't been too long since you used the soap, you could just rinse the leaves off under the faucet and see if that helps, but if it's been several days then it's already done the damage and I don't know if that'll help at all. Any chance you can post some pictures? I've never heard of dish soap doing that and I can't imagine it killing a plant unless maybe you used it straight out of the bottle or used the stuff meant for the dishwasher as I mentioned before. So I wonder if it's not something else going on. I also don't think dish soap is very effective on mealy bugs, I've always heard to use the q-tips with rubbing alcohol for them.
I have a picture of the liquid for you, My mix was 1/20 mix.
I have a few pictures.
Do you just put the mix on the Mealy Bugs or the whole plant?
Maybe that was my mistake, I put it on the whole plant.
I have baby Jenco's and they have little white things crawling over them ,so it didnt help them.
Please for give the few posts I have to make to get the pictures up.
We don't have that brand of dish soap here, but it looks like the kind for handwashing dishes so I think it should be OK. People spray dilute dish soap all over their plants all the time and it doesn't cause any problems. If you were using alcohol, that's when you need to be careful and just put it on the mealies, but people spray plants with dish soap to get rid of things like aphids all the time. As I said before, I'm not sure that the dish soap will kill the mealies or not, I think you'll have to try something else for them. But the dish soap shouldn't kill plants, unless there's something strange about jades or succulents in general. I've never had to spray my succulents for pests so I can only comment on other sorts of plants.
But as I look at most of your pictures, I wonder if it couldn't be overwatering or something like that too. I don't grow too many succulents, but on my other plants when I see lower leaves turning yellowish like that, it usually is a sign of overwatering. That's what it looks like on a couple of them at least, some of the others it's hard to tell. The black spots on the one jade plant are definitely not related to the dish soap, that looks like either some sort of fungus or maybe a different insect other than the mealies, hard to tell for sure from the picture.
I agree. It looks like there are several things going on here. That one plant probably had mealybugs but I don't see any
sign of them on the others. The black spots look like the fruiting structures of a fungus.
And a dilute solution (1-2 Tablespoons per gallon) of a dishwashing liquid is a common pesticide for soft-bodied insects. How effective it is on mealybugs with their waxy secretion, I don't know.
BTW, the alcohol I buy for everyday use is a 50% solution. 1/20 would be over twice as strong, and as ecrane points out, you should just use it on a cotton ball or Q-tip directly on the mealybugs.
How were these plants looking before you sprayed them? I mean, did they look healthy, or were they already looking not so good. and so you decided to spray them....?
And ......have you fertilized these plants recently?
They were all looking fantastic, but I had an attack of mealy bugs in my Hippies and it was spreading.
Oh, well, if I lose some then I have learned a big lesson, I pray I haven't though.
Yes, I have fertilized them with liquid fertilizer, 5mls to a litre of water.
I was told that your alcohol was different from our rubbing alcohol.
Here it is called Metholated Spirits, (96% Ethanol), I was told that they added something to it so people do not drink it.
Do you still think 50% dilution, I was told that?????
I just went to a chemist and asked for Rubbing Alcohol.
This is what is in it and is this the same as what you call rubbing alcohol?
Isopropyl Alcohol, Anti-Bacterial Lotion. Antiseptic....................................
Please tell me this is correct and then tell me how to mix it correctly.
I would have to go to the drugstore and look at what the concentration of isopropyl alcohol is in our rubbing alcohol. I don't have any of it around right now. I use it straight out of the bottle, but I'd hate to tell you to do that without knowing that ours has the same concentration as yours! Does it say on yours what the percentage is of isopropyl alcohol? Also, where it says isopropyl alcohol and anti-bacterial lotion, are those two different ingredients? If there's anything in there besides the alcohol and water I wouldn't use it on plants.
Mine is isopropyl alcohol 50%. The other 50% is water. That is all. It also says on the label: first aid antiseptic, use for rubbing, bathing and massage.
My bottle of rubbing alcohol is just Isopropyl Alcohol ONLY.
Nothing else in it.
I have uploaded a picture of the bottle for you all to have a look at.
Maybe thats where I got the 50/50 mix. Because it is pure, I may have to mix it with water?????
I so appreciate all your help in trying to work out this problem.
Yes, CJ, mine also says that as you will see in pic.
I'm surprised they'd sell 100% isopropyl alcohol, it's pretty flammable stuff! I think that's why the stuff you can buy here is more diluted. If you're sure there's no water in there then I'd dilute it 50/50 with water and use it that way, that should be equivalent to what we have. But this is one you don't want to spray all over the plant, definitely use a Q-tip and just wipe it on the mealies. If a tiny bit gets on the plant it's not a big deal, but you definitely don't want to spray it everywhere.
Is Mealy Bugs the only pest you would use this on?
Or does it work for other pests like maybe scale? As my Croton plants have scale and I do not know what to use for scale?
The lable on that bottle just had Isopropyl as the ingredient, so I take that as 100%, would you?
The only way I would be sure it's 100% is if it says 100%. I don't know what the labelling rules are in Australia, sometimes you're required to list all the ingredients and sometimes you can leave out things like water, unless it says 100% isopropanol there's no guarantee that's what the concentration is. But the worst that can happen if you dilute it too much is it won't work, so if you try it 50/50 and it doesn't get rid of them, I'd try diluting a little less and try it again, etc. I'd rather do that than use it as-is and have it be too concentrated and do something bad to your plants.
As far as scale, I don't think I've ever heard alcohol suggested for scale so I don't know if it would work or not. Usually spraying with horticultural oil is what I hear people recommend for that, but you have to be careful not to use it if the plant's in the sun because it can burn it, and it's really most effective on the scale when it's in its crawler stage, so you'll need to repeat the treatment periodically to get them all. Personally, when I get scale I blast them off with my hose (I've only had it on outdoor plants), then I usually have ants along with the scale so I'll spray them with insecticidal soap so they can't come back and help get the scale re-established.
I was with you right up to blasting scale off with water. We must have different scale (and there are many, many kinds) because the scale I get is tightly stuck to the plant and is impervious to the water treatment.
As ecrane said, the usual treatment is horticultural oil, applied every week to 10 days, to kill the crawlers as they hatch. That is when they are vulnerable. The reason you have to do it several times is because they don't all hatch at once. You don't see the eggs; they are under the hard covering of the scale. And the scales do not fall off once they are dead. They eventually wear off by the weather elements, or drop to the ground with the leaf when it dies. Dead scale will be brownish underneath when you flick it off with your fingernail; live scale will look alive - you will see the pink or reddish colored eggs. Then you will need to watch the new growth to see if any scale returns, and treat the plant immediately if you see new activity there. It's a long battle...
If you decide to use horticultural oil, be sure to read the directions and follow them closely. Pay close attention to the temperature limitations or you will burn your plants.
Rubbing alcahol (Isopropyl) comes in many strengths.
100% was for Diabetics to serilise needles,clean the injection site etc.
Read the lable,I've seen all kinds of stuff mixed with it-witch hazle etc.
Methollated spirits (methonol-4%,96% ethonol) depending on where you get it-laws.
They have to add the non drinkable/poisonous methonol so it can't be drank.
They also had to use something that was hard or impossible to separate from the alcahol.
If it wasn't made undrinkable it would be pure corn squeezins like uncle jesse used ta make. Hic.
It would be taxable like whiskey etc. too.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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A bottle of Polish denatured alcohol.
Methylated spiritsDenatured alcohol is ethanol which has been rendered toxic or otherwise undrinkable, and in some cases dyed. It is used for purposes such as fuel for spirit burners and camping stoves, and as a solvent. Traditionally, the main additive was 10% methanol, which gave rise to methylated spirits. There are diverse industrial uses for ethanol, and therefore literally hundreds of recipes for denaturing ethanol. Typical additives are methanol, isopropanol, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, denatonium, and even (uncommonly) aviation gasoline.
In the phrase denatured alcohol, denatured means "a specific property of ethanol, its usefulness as a beverage, is removed".  The ethanol molecule is not denatured in the sense that its chemical structure is altered.
There is no duty on denatured alcohol in most countries, making it considerably cheaper than pure ethanol. Consequently, its composition is tightly defined by government regulations which vary between countries. Different additives are used to make it both unpalatable and poisonous in such a way that is hard to rectify through distillation or other simple processes. Methanol is commonly used for this in part because it has a boiling point close to that of ethanol, and separating it by distillation is difficult, but not impossible as methanol and ethanol form a zeotropic mixture (the opposite of an azeotropic mixture). In many countries, it is also required to be dyed blue or purple with an aniline dye.
The tax-exempt status for denatured alcohol dates from the mid-19th century. For instance the United Kingdom introduced legislation in 1855 to permit ethanol containing 10% wood-naphtha to be exempt.
There are several grades of denatured alcohol, but the denaturants used are generally similar. The formulation for completely denatured alcohol, according to British regulations is typical:
Completely denatured alcohol must be made in accordance with the following formulation: with every 90 parts by volume of alcohol mix 9.5 parts by volume of wood naphtha or a substitute for wood naphtha and 0.5 parts by volume of crude pyridine, and to the resulting mixture add mineral naphtha (petroleum oil) in the proportion of 3.75 litres to every 1000 litres of the mixture and synthetic organic dyestuff (methyl violet) in the proportion of 1.5 grammes to every 1000 litres of the mixture.
A common use is as a fuel for marine and ultra-light camping (backpacking) stoves. Its main advantages are its low cost, its ability to be extinguished by water, the fact that it is not explosive, and its ability to be transported without special containers. However, safety concerns do arise from the near-colourless flame with which alcohol burns. In brightly-lit areas, an alcohol flame can be essentially invisible, creating a potential hazard wherein persons can be burned by contacting flames they cannot see.
One notable use is as a sanding aid, as the alcohol helps to more easily remove the excess sawdust that results from sanding wood,  because it does not open the wood grain the way that water would. Methylated spirits may also be used to kill mealybugs.
Denatured alcohol is often also used for its solvent properties, for example to remove ink stains from upholstery or clothes. It is also well known to burn cold relative to paraffin when thrown upon a naked flame.
Antiseptic mouthwash such as Listerine is denatured to avoid being taxed as an alcoholic beverage.
Consumption and toxicity
Despite its poisonous nature, denatured alcohol is sometimes consumed by the desperate or ignorant, which can result in blindness or death. To help prevent this, denatonium is often added to give the substance an extremely bitter flavor. Substances such as pyridine help to give the mixture an unpleasant odor, and emetic (vomiting) agents such as syrup of ipecac may also be included.
Methanol itself is not toxic; rather, the toxicity is due to the accumulation of its metabolites — formaldehyde and formic acid. Because the metabolic pathways for ethanol and methanol share a common enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase, ethanol can be used to treat methanol poisoning by blocking the enzyme until the body can excrete enough methanol through the lungs and skin. In a documented case, a ship worker poisoned while cleaning out a methanol tank was successfully treated with administration of a good portion of the liquor in the ship's "medicine chest."
It has also appeared to be a problem in some parts of South Africa, homeless people drink denatured alcohol, using pieces of bread as a filter for the bad taste. The use of the bread is nullified, as after using it as a filter, the bread is sometimes eaten. The amount of homeless drinking denatured alcohol in South Africa has led to a change in the concoction, removing methanol to make it less toxic.
Smokemaster that was some interesting reading.....................
I will have to read it a few times to let it really sink in, but fasinating.
Thank you for your efforts,
I used to work with a lot of different solvents-alcohol being one of them.
I'm surprised that people would use denatured alcohol as a rubbing alcohol
Methonol bonds with a lot of stuff (not as bad as benzene though)and can be obsorbed through the skin if mixed with the wrong stuff it could be bad.
Your body doesn't reject methonol like it does ethonol.
Thats why it's so dangerous to drink.You can drink enough to kill yourself before you know it.
You get sick most of the time on ethonol before you reach toxic levels.
Actually if you want to check out an amazing solvent read up on benzene.
Bonds with just about everything.
Doesn't really break down,it just keeps bonding and changing into other stuff.
I recently learned that sodium benzoate (which is used as a preservative in many of our foods, and in high concentrations in many of our soft drinks), when combined with Vitamin C (also used in many of our soft drinks) creates benzene - a carcinogen. It can also cause cirrhosis of the liver in a person that has never drunk alcohol....
This message was edited Oct 21, 2007 1:47 PM
Benzene may be an amazing solvent, but it has no place outside a chemistry lab. Way too risky.
just had to check out a thread about having mealy bugs in your hippies...