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Re: prickly pear cactuses rotting

November 01, 2012 10:49AM
rieger Wrote:
> Hoping someone in Topanga can advise me. I have
> dozens of huge prickly pear cactuses on my
> property and I've been fairly successfully
> fighting off the dreaded cochineal bug through the
> years, mostly by spraying the white fuzz off with
> high powered blasts of water from the hose.
> Occasionally, I've applied neem oil too when water
> didn't do the trick. I'm still battling
> cochineal, but now my cactuses appear to be dying
> from rot. My fear is that it's from all the water
> they've received each time I spray the cochineal
> bug. Now many of the leaves are brown, squishy
> and rotting and are falling off in huge chunks.
> Is there any way to treat this rot? Thanks...

DW: The Cactus Doctor has some suggestions. He can be found at http://www.thecactusdoctor.com/CochinealEradication.html

Cochineal Eradication Mealybug Scale

When you see that your prickly pear and cholla cactus have white sticky mounds covering them, it means you have a cochineal (mealybug) problem. This is not a disease, it is actually an insect infestation. The white sticky mounds are the housing for cochineal bugs (also known as mealy bugs) . When these white sticky spots first start to appear it is best to spray them off the cactus pads with a power nozzle attached at the end of your hose. If the infestation begins to get out of control, I suggest treating the areas by scrubbing them with insecticidal soap or unscented dish soap. In small areas you can scrub with a tooth brush but for larger areas it is best to use a long handled brush. Or you can just spray all of the surfaces of the prickly pear pads thoroughly using a power nozzle attached to your hose and then thoroughly spray with a solution of spectraside and insecticidal soap. Do not rinse after applying the spectraside and insecticidal soap.

During the winter months the most effective method of cochineal eradication (getting rid of the white sticky spots on your cactus) is to spray them with Neem Oil spray which can be purchased online. Follow the Neem Oil manufacture's directions. I prefer this method of eradication because no scrubbing is required in order to kill the cochineal insects.

If you prefer an organic treatment, power wash your prickly pear pads using a power nozzle attached to your hose and then use an organic natural soap and neem oil solution to spray, then scrape with a brush and spray again with the solution and do not rinse. This will remove the cochineal scale and mealybugs organically.
Subject Author Posted

prickly pear cactuses rotting

rieger October 30, 2012 12:06PM

Re: prickly pear cactuses rotting

Dogwood November 01, 2012 10:49AM

Re: prickly pear cactuses rotting

TheThinker November 01, 2012 05:18PM

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