A Halloween Scare

With all the plant acquisitions I have made in the past few months, it was almost inevitable. I mean, nothing is inevitable, I guess, but I don't always wash every plant or quarantine them for long enough before I stick them in the midst of the jungle in my studio apartment.

And so, when I returned home from dinner with a friend on Halloween night, after weaving my way through screaming parents, screaming children, and people in costumes for the occasion, too, I was greeted with this fright: mealy bugs.

They were exclusively on my Hippeastrum seedlings, situated on the "I like these plants" shelf of my metal shelving unit (these plants get special plant-bulb fluorescents; the other two fluorescent fixtures on subsequently lower shelves have only normal tubes). They didn't have mealy bugs (noticeably) a week ago when I posted about them, but that means nothing--they have them now. So, instead of going to sleep, I spent a few minutes freaking out, thinking I needed to wash every single leaf, sterilize my entire apartment, breathe, just breathe... Okay, I'm better. I chopped all the leaves off of the Hippeastrum and dug up the bulbs. I laid them out to dry. I'll replant them in a month or so, maybe. The "if the plants ever go dormant, I might dig up any bulbs that exist and separate them" came to pass in a way I hadn't anticipated, but I never would have done it otherwise.

I had looked over all of the other plants and didn't see any mealy bugs, but now I'm extremely worried. I'm going to start spraying the shit out of The Indoor Garden with neem. Best get to steppin', you creepy crawlies!

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3 Responses to A Halloween Scare

  1. This has happened to me a few times too. A single big mealybug plopped down in the middle of a leaf, but no detectable mealybugs on any of the nearby plants or elsewhere on the plant in question.

    I find that taking the perspective of, well, since I can't find any others, that must mean that I caught the infestation really early helps me to sleep at night, even if it isn't necessarily true.

  2. Oh no! But you are right, with the amount of traffic of plants through your place, it was bound to happen - funny how the scary bugs coincided with Halloween LOL!

  3. Wow, that was a brave overhaul on your Hippeastrums! I wish you luck on the whole thing. Love the blog!


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