Orchid Plant Pests In My Greenhouse – Part Two – Creepy Crawlers!

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Care and Culture, Growing Outdoors, Insects

Insects which eat parts of orchid plants, especially the flowers, include vine weevils and cockroaches.

Both are nocturnal and the best way of dealing with them is to catch them in the act of feeding. I know this doesn’t sound very appealing, but think of it like this, apart from catching pests, it can be a pleasure to be in a greenhouse in the evening, some orchids are powerfully scented at this time and others have colors which glow in the dusk and under artificial light. Caterpillars and other insect larvae can be ravenous and cause devastation even in a single night. Woodlice are sometimes a problem in bark composts as they feed on decaying plant material and may turn their attention to young roots. They are not easy to eliminate, but they can be controlled by careful attention to good hygiene, regular cleaning of your greenhouse, and I like to use of a suitable powder sprinkled around the door and on the floor where they may enter.

Slugs and snails can do considerable damage to buds, flowers and young shoots. The best way to deal with them is to search for them at night, or in the early mornings, and remove the prowlers by hand. Several different kinds of bait are available, usually containing metaldehyde or methiocarb, and these should help to keep the numbers down if used frequently. Some growers swear that beer is the most successful kind of bait for slugs. Mice are also heavy feeders on young buds and shoots.

For more information on orchid plant pests in your greenhouse, check out Part One – Naughty Nuisances and Part Three – Oh Mites!

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