How To Get Rid Of Cottony Cushion Scale. 2 Methods

You have two methods to learn how to get rid of cottony cushion scale. It can be discouraging to notice these pests in your plants, but take comfort in knowing that you have biological and chemical solutions to address them. However, getting rid of and controlling these pests isn’t enough, and prevention is also necessary. 

You can consider growing plants in the greenhouse since it’s more comfortable to prevent bugs indoors. Remember that the easier it is to control the insect population, the quicker it is to eradicate them. And as a bonus, you have control over greenhouse conditions that can keep cottony cushion scales from multiplying rapidly. 

 

How To Get Rid Of Cottony Cushion Scale. 2 Methods

How To Control And Remove Cottony Cushion Scale

 

Method #1. Biological

According to the University of California, you can use the two natural enemies of the cottony cushion scale to your advantage in controlling them. This is an ideal option for those who can’t rely on chemicals to eliminate these insects. You can either use vedalia beetles or parasitic flies. 

 

Vedalia beetle

The former is perhaps the most common biological way to get rid of the cottony cushion scale. These beetles have even proven themselves effective in saving the citrus industry in California back in the 1890s. How do vedalia beetles help you get rid of cottony cushion scale? 

Both the larvae and adult beetles will feed on the insects. The mature female beetles even lay the eggs under the female scale, helping control the scale population. And best of all, the beetles will feed on all the life stages of scale. 

 

Parasitic fly

The second natural enemy that you can use to address your scale problem is the parasitic fly. This insect also lays eggs on various scale life stages, including on adult female scales. The adult fly will then emerge from the scale. 

Whichever insect you choose, you should be pleased that they have a short generation time. This makes them excellent in controlling cottony cushion scale quickly, without you worrying about other beneficial insects. 

 

Method #2. Chemical

The second method for getting rid of the cottony cushion scale is by using chemicals. However, consider this as your last option to address the pests. Still, there will be instances that one can only control cottony cushion scale using chemicals, so know how to use insecticides properly. 

Before anything else, understand that this pest is already difficult to treat compared to others. A sac protects the adult scale and even the eggs, so insecticides can’t contact them as efficiently. Instead, you can use horticultural oil during dormancy to make the control easier. 

 

 

Chemicals to use and never use

Gardeners also use spray insecticides on the foliage to treat younger scales when the females are already dead. The best time to spray is when the crawlers are hatching, and you can know this timing by placing sticky tape traps to catch these insects. The ideal chemicals would be acephate and organophosphates malathion. 

The emphasis is necessary that you can’t use acephate on other plants except for ornamentals. On the other hand, organophosphates malathion can harm other beneficial insects like bees. Therefore, use chemicals with precaution and read their labels diligently. 

What chemicals won’t be useful for cottony cushion scale? Imidacloprid doesn’t kill the insects but can harm the beneficial vedalia beetles. More so, you risk having an outbreak after using this insecticide. 

 

Damages Caused By Cottony Cushion Scale

Always be on the lookout for the signs of cottony cushion scale infestation. You will see sooty mold on the foliage and flowers of your plant for starters due to the honeydew they left. This mold will eventually turn black and prevents sunlight absorption.

We all know how sunlight is essential to plants, so receiving under their light requirements will cause problems in the growth and development of young shoots. Therefore, it’s typical to see leaf loss or yellowing foliage when there is a cottony scale infestation on your plants. The University of Arizona recommends monitoring your plants early in spring to address these pests as soon as possible.

More so, remember to do preventative measures year-round to avoid encouraging these pests in your area. Be mindful of the new plants that you bring and the environmental conditions that can support scale. You can use a greenhouse to create a controlled growing area while also practicing sanitation and pruning to manage infestations from becoming heavy.

 

Conclusion

Cottony cushion scale is one of the most annoying pests to discover in the garden. However, you can learn how to get rid of cottony cushion scale using biological and chemical controls. Still, remember the importance of prevention and get these pests population under control to make treatment more comfortable. 

You can take advantage of vedalia beetles and parasitic flies since they are natural enemies of scale. But if the pests’ population is too hard to manage, use chemicals with extreme precaution and diligence. Some pesticides harm beneficial insects, while others are only meant for ornamental plants. 

More so, some pesticides will not work efficiently against the cottony cushion scale. Therefore, aim to maintain a stable environment that is not supportive of infestation. Practice proper cleanliness to avoid bringing pests into the garden.

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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