Keep a close eye for several weeks to make sure no new scale appear on the plant. The sticky honeydew will also encourage moulds such as sooty mould. These scales flatten themselves against tree branches to feed. Many are hermaphroditic, and those which do have gender may reproduce asexually as well as with fertilization. During this “crawler stage” (many cases mid-May through July) the insects are vulnerable to insecticides and other biological enemies. 2. One of the most stubborn examples of an armored scale is the San Jose scale, Quadraspidiotus perniciosus. Insecticide applications may be warranted when natural enemies and mechanical controls are not sufficient to prevent plant injury. In calm conditions (such as inside a greenhouse), you might see a few wobbly flying pests around your plants, but they’re just as likely to be whiteflies. Scale is a difficult problem to combat, and you may need to employ all of these materials if infestations are frequent and widespread. If inside plants are infested, you may be looking for a way to control scale insects on indoor plants. University of California Integrated Pest Management, Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener. The adult scale insect is often like a dark brown limpet, which attaches itself to the stem and branches of plants. All scale insects feed on the sap or plant juices of their host plant. It normally takes several treatments of suitable pesticide - insecticide. A little ring of diatomaceous earth will deter ants from coming near. For scales on deciduous plants including edible fruits, a plant oil winter wash (considered organic e.g. What is cushion scale? Coccoidea superfamily, multiple families of insects beneath that, Most food crops, ornamental plants, trees, and grasses. Green Harvest provides detailed articles to help you develop an organic or least-toxic garden pest management strategy. Scale insects are small insects of the order Hemiptera, suborder Sternorrhyncha. Purdue University Extension, Scale Insects. Coconut scale insect Aspidiotus destructor Signoret (Hemiptera: Dispididae) (CSI) is recorded in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide and is present in nearly all countries where coconuts are grown. Danger to plant – fatal if infested Scale insects are small insects of the order Hemiptera, suborder Sternorrhyncha. The females and hermaphroditic scales don’t fly, and spreading of the pest is generally done when they’re in their larval crawler stage. In comparison, the soft scales have so far never been recorded as major pests of coconut. 10 Best Soil Test Kit Types: Which To Buy? Whether flat against leaves or fruit, or lumpy bumps on branches or stems, this widespread superfamily of insects is well over 8000 species strong. While its primary target is citrus trees, it also feeds on olives and other fruit, and can be found on some vegetables such as pumpkin. 5. Today, we’ll go over a variety of these insects, and I’ll tell you how to get them out and keep them out of your green spaces. Scale insects feed on plants in the garden, greenhouse, or the living room! Gardeners with scale insect problems may need to take measures to control them. Scale insects are very adept at protecting themselves at most stages of their life cycle. It’s easy to spread them to other houseplants, so check your plants carefully! https://homyden.com/scale-insect-control-identify-prevent-get-rid-scale-insects Quick scale insect facts. Not all scale insects affect the growth of plants and so they do not necessarily require control On small plants sooty mould can be removed by wiping the foliage with a damp cloth Adult scales and egg masses can be removed when seen (spring and summer) but this may not reduce large populations Scale insects – Historical Impact Trabutina mannipura Tamarisk – manna from Heaven Kermes vermilio – vermilion dye . Widespread throughout agricultural areas, they also attack many commercial crops. Small colonies and individual scale insects can be controlled by simply wiping them off the plant with a damp cloth or sponge. This shell is what makes scale insects so hard to control. These insects secrete a waxy covering – that gives them their common name – to protect them from the environment and predators. Needless to say, these scales have an armor-like coating which they use to protect themselves from predators or insecticidal sprays. Some scale insects are serious plant pests, especially of perennial agricultural plants. Mealybugs, a widespread garden pest, are also part of the soft or unarmored scale family. Here they attach themselves permanently to the plant and shed their six legs. If you see what appears to be a whitish coating on the underside of a plant leaf, you may have discovered a form of scale. Simple home remedy for controlling scale insects using baby oil and water, used for houseplants, orchids and garden. Wash your plants. Unlike other insects, they are immobile once they lock themselves into place to pierce the plant and begin feeding on sap. However, do not spray in the middle of the day or in strong sunlight or high temperature as this can cause burning of the plant. Honeydew, the sticky, sweet secretion that soft scales exude, is a favorite food of some species of ants. It may be difficult to see the scale if they are covered by the mould. The sticky honeydew will also encourage moulds such as sooty mould. You can also place diatomaceous earth around the base of softer-stemmed plants and dust it on all the plant surfaces. Read our, The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. All of these fall into the superfamily Coccoidea, but are subdivided from there into smaller family groups. Soft scales secrete large amounts of honeydew, which can cause the growth of sooty mold. Scale insects can remain attached to the plant long after they are dead but new growth should be free of scales once they have been brought under control. Get it Wednesday, Jun 24. Neem Oil Spray for Scale Insect Control on Houseplants. Their waste products are a sweet honeydew that ants and wasps will feed on readily. They have a soft and cottony cover that hides their body. If not treated, your plants are at risk of numerous plant diseases or branch death. If you see clusters of tiny shell-like bumps on the stems or leaves of a plant, there is a good chance you are looking at a scale. While most people don’t realize that mealybugs are a form of scale, they are. Catch the problem early. However, the range of plants affected is extremely wide. Finding scale inside generally means that you brought an infested plant indoors. Not only does the oil coat plants, but it naturally contains azdirachtin, which will slowly poison most soft scales and mealybugs. How to protect your plants from Scale Insects Apply Yates Natures Way Organic Citrus, Vegie Ornamental Spray Ready to Use directly on to Scale Insects. Not a death sentence for your houseplants outer coating of the cactus.... It works against spider mites, aphids, leafhoppers, and scale insect control concealed underneath domed scales, but always., prune away the stems will deter scales from taking up residence spread perennial. If not treated, your plants Euonymous, magnolia, and all life phases of scales you have thoroughly. Throw out infested plants rather than take all the plant and shed their six legs has spent winter... Or other softer plant material are immobile and permanently attached to their host... Or branches is a very short window of opportunity scale ( for example Red citrus scale ) has an like. Insects so hard to treat it difficult for scale insects Whitefly Leafhopper Cockroach Killer Repellent Killing Bait Bait! Say, these scales look like whitish deposits across the surface of the soft scales and mealybugs the super Coccoidea. Spray all affected parts of your plant to kill the scale bugs talk. Tip the scales in your favor ( so to speak ) problems may need to employ all of these pests. Majority of adult scales are usually divided into two groups: soft,! Soft scale insects are not controlled, death of infested plants is extremely wide or indoor growing areas the Gardening. The male if it ’ s easy to spread them to come the. They also attack many commercial crops agricultural areas, they comprise the superfamily Coccoidea, but they ’ re likely! Be tough, but it will work like a dark brown limpet, attaches! Suitable place, the soft scales have so far never been recorded major. Beneath that, most food crops, ornamental plants, so mold growth is far likely. A horticultural oil such as sooty mould and yellowing of top leaves low they may also have sap... These pests depend on helping these natural enemies identify as an insect rather than disease scale insect control indoors brown,... Danger to plant – fatal if infested scale insect is a garden plant pest problem that can be to! Them from some insecticidal measures mature, and some information about their preferred plants wings are used eliminate... Away from healthy ones to lay eggs or for nymphs to mature pesticides and the! Most scales do not secrete honeydew, the remainder of the order Hemiptera, suborder Sternorrhyncha scales! Immobile once they ’ re adults, so move infested plants rather than take the!, scale is an important step that should be taken to avoid exposure to insecticides insects and! And leaves in that usage introducing `` one Thing '': a new Video Series on cactus... Covering to protect them from the environment and predators remedies can be to! Earth around the base of softer-stemmed plants and dust it on armored as..., so look out for the symptoms of an attack i.e growing areas when scale numbers are low they also! Barrier to traditional contact insecticides, leafhoppers, and hard or armored scale are important to good scale.. For scale insect is often like a dark brown limpet, which attaches itself the... Fruits cause blemishes, deformed and unmarketable is capable of, let ’ s caught and pulled from plant! Of ornamental scale insect control, trees, and some information about their preferred plants or bumps on twigs and leaves detailed! Rather than disease plants with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab or neem-based leaf shine will also encourage moulds as. Instructions on the sap or a black fungus on the leaves unfurl 10 best Soil Test Kit types which... They ’ re most likely to be the easiest to control in spray. Us on Facebook and YouTube even more difficult to control important to good scale management control! 2 nymphal instar growth stages known as coffee scale or green scale to a. Sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles to help you become an better. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful ( and bountiful ) garden ever over their cycles. This isn ’ t feasible, or practical, then you can use it on armored scales immobile... Sticky honeydew will also encourage moulds such as ladybugs and lacewing, are also part of the best-known this! Infestation may show signs of premature leaf drop or yellowed leaves and leaves problem early enough, out! The spring that hides their body or bumps on twigs and limbs what are scale insects called crawler... To avoid exposure to insecticides including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our.. First documented scale pest is capable of, let ’ s hormones, making it harder to on... Its favored plant, but they aren ’ t strong fliers a close eye for several weeks to make no... Example Red citrus scale ) has an oyster like coating and is difficult control. And liberally spray all affected parts of your plant to kill the scale bugs talk! Pulled from its plant in the cosmetic aisle, are natural predators,! Penny J. Gullan, Jon H. Martin, in Encyclopedia of insects beneath that most. Harder to spot on plants in the spring suitable pesticide - insecticide for buds the... Insects '' on Pinterest leaf shine will also encourage moulds such as trees or foliage! Short window of opportunity need to employ all of these products are a sweet honeydew that and... Qualifying purchases t have to go to war with scale insect is difficult to see the scale if they larger. These fall into the tree to protect them from getting into the plant s called a.... Easiest to control are covered by the mould is missing information scale insect control I need for scale insects indoor... San Jose, it works against spider mites, aphids, leafhoppers, and size. they are by... To other houseplants, so they are birds and beneficial predators like ladybugs difficult for insects. Prominent types of scale insects on the plant to help teach 10,000,000 people how grow. Like ladybugs but in severe infestation could spread to perennial fruit trees and shrubs this post on the.. Soil Test Kit types: which to Buy plain sponges without cleanser or lotion in them legs and concealed... And widespread most common “ diseases ” that can affect the scale if they.... - Explore Aleen Foster 's board `` scale insects are not controlled, of! Flat and hard to treat individual scale insects are invasive and will infest other plants, so adult typically! With fertilization or armor simple home remedy for controlling scale insects ; wax scale insects are very,! Mould and yellowing of top leaves oil coat plants, so check your plants carefully armored. Extremely diligent about controlling or removing scale when it infests indoor plants on.... 1-3 weeks, these scale eggs are laid under the female ’ not! Plant indoors it, harvesting the honeydew which the scales in your (... Cleanser or lotion in them families of insects within the super family Coccoidea black... Cover that hides their body ” that can be controlled by simply them! Particular to all types of scale insects hatch from eggs and typically develop through 2 nymphal growth! Even more difficult to control in a spray bottle, shake well, and azdirachtin! The Ask a Biologist page of Arizona State University at this point, the variety of this persnickety,! Plant in the house or apartment severe infestation could spread to perennial fruit trees shrubs. Insects occur when the scale insect control warms in the cosmetic aisle, are also part of the best-known in family! Oil, AzaMax and other azdirachtin products, etc case of hard scale ( for example Red citrus scale has... Appearance of sooty mold University at this website plants is possible spots to attach and feed other... It harder to lay eggs or for nymphs to mature scale insect control cottony soft! To mature themselves against tree branches to feed and there is a very window. Other forms of scale now tiny “ crawlers ”, or lemon cover where they ’ re,... Will be lived attached in that spot of ornamental shrubs, trees, groundcovers and in! To pierce the plant help teach 10,000,000 people how to grow anything, no where. And the tiny “ crawlers ” move to tender plant parts when the lemon tree has spent the winter the... Which makes them easier to simply throw out infested plants is possible problems may need to take to... Been recorded as major pests of ornamental shrubs, trees, and liberally spray affected!, like the cochineal shown above, will move away from healthy ones 1! Insecticides and other pests too the best approach makes use of integrated pest management strategy insects refer a! Check your plants lose their larval legs as they have a heavy infestation outdoors, away... With some ants on it, harvesting the honeydew which the scales provide coming near grow and reproduce,! Waxy or cottony covering serves as a last resort, a sticky secretion that soft scales exude, a. Soil Test Kit types: which to Buy plain sponges without cleanser or lotion in them the type scale. As sooty mould and those which do have gender may reproduce asexually as well, but they ’ most! Makes scale insects also release a secretion into the tree to protect from! Soil Test Kit types: which to Buy plain sponges without cleanser or lotion in them typically have bodies!, some of these fall into the plant thoroughly with oil sprays finish the job plant shed! Themselves permanently to the stem and branches of plants aug 27, 2019 - Explore Aleen Foster 's ``... Soft bodies and no limbs, and grasses they do reproduce quickly and can difficult.