Scale Insects

Pest Type: Insect

Damage to Plant: The plant looks unsightly: it loses vigor and wilts, or new growth is distorted. Branches and even whole plants may die. Honeydew excreted by soft scales attracts ants and fosters the growth of sooty mold.

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Generally Affects:


Varying in size, shape, and color, the many species of these aphid cousins look like bumps on bark, leaves, and fruit. All are equipped with an insecticide-resistant coat, a leathery or waxy material in the case of soft scales, a sturdier covering for armored scales. Young scales (called crawlers) move around the plant, but they settle down and become immobile as they mature.

Life Cycle: Some scales lay eggs, often under a female’s protective covering; other types bear live young. Armored scales usually have several generations a year, soft scales only one.

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