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question about scale

Monique Reed monique at mail.bio.tamu.edu
Tue Feb 5 11:14:28 EST 2002

Perhaps someone was recommending Merit cigarettes?  Nicotine works a
treat on scale, at least in the crawler stage.  A nice spray of
cigarette butt tea will do in nearly anything.

M. Reed

Plainsman wrote:
> > I was told by someone that the only way to completely get rid of scale is to
> > add something called "merit" to the water. Does anyone know if this works,
> > and if so where I might find it!
> >
>    I suppose I knew what this was at one time not so long ago - but if
> you're adding it to the irrigation water it's no doubt a systemic
> insecticide, which gets drawn up and makes the entire plant poisonous.
>    It probably works pretty well, for a price; if it's a restricted-use
> product (which you won't be able to buy) it may even work very well.
> In either case it's probably (like most systemics) something nasty enough
> to cause many people to question whether they want to use it on something
> they live with - which isn't clear from your post: the stuff may not even
> be labeled for (safe or legal) use on the plant(s) in question.
>   For starters, why don't you find a pint or two (e.g., a heavy application
> rate is 5 tablespoons per US gallon) of Sunspray or other brand of what's
> generically called Superior Oil. You could probably cook with this if your
> taste buds aren't too discriminating; it works by smothering the pests.
> Don't let anyone sell you the much heavier and harsher "dormant oil."
> Gardens Alive is one source (do a search) if you can't find it locally.
>    Two thorough applications will at least knock scale down to undetectable
> levels, a viable management strategy if you're not dealing with other clean
> plants that might not yet be contaminated: scale doesn't multiply very
> fast. Three or four thorough treatments should eliminate it.
>    In case you encounter insecticidal soap: a good way to kill the plant -
> you can do that with oil too, but not as easily. In any case it won't kill
> scale (or much of anything else imho), so don't bother.

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