Crinum Grub (Spodoptera picta)
Mealy Bug
Best possible treatment is to spot them before they spot your Hippeastrums. While this is a very nice idea, you can not be in the garden watching over your bulbs day and night. Some of the products and methods I use listed below may be of some use to you.
All of my garden is sprayed with a solution of molasses regularly and most importanly before flower scapes appear on Hippeastrum bulbs. Molasses is distastful to leaf eating insects, but extremely good for your plants.
I mix half a cup of molasses to nine litres of water.
Mix well then pour into a spray pack, either hand held or hose attached, and spray everything in sight!
Your garden will love you for it as you will be adding essential trace elements and beloved sugar, which your plants can take in quickly.
Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is a naturally occurring fossil deposit that is organically, bio-dynamically and permaculturally sound and is harmful only to insects and their larvae.
More information can be found on the web just by typing it into your browser. I find it to be of great value in the garden to control lots of other pests such as snails, slugs, and beetles. Friends have used it to control feas and ticks with great success.
I use diotmaceous earth on potted bulbs and bedded garden bulbs alike.
I have found this to work very well in the control of ants too. These little guys, while nessesary to maintain a healthy balance in the garden, are the carriers of Scale and Mealy bugs.
They literally carry the pest to a plant and then feed off the pests reward, which is usually a drop of a sweet nectar like substance.
This can be a nightmare in potted Hippeastrums, as ants will usually set up home in the pot, usually right under the bulb’s basal plate where water can’t reach their nest.
Diatomaceous earth sprinkled in the necks of bulbs will inhibit Crinum Grubs from eating their way down into the bulb, thus preventing them from eating a hole through the bulb which will eventually rot and die.
When the first leaves appear sprinkle a reasonable amount between the leaves.
You will need to reapply after rain or watering. The powder eventually enhances the quality of the earth, adding trace elements. I use a plastic detergent bottle to puff the diotomaceous earth on and around the plants. While diatomaceous earth is not harmful to humans or animals it is adviseable to take care while applying. This product has not caused any ill effects to our resident birds or bees of all descriptions, just helped them, to help me maintain a healthy balance of insects in the garden.