It is important to accurately identify the species of scale because control is different for soft scales and armored scales. Apply to CSU | Mealybugs and other kinds of soft scales, such as hemispherical scale (Saissetia coffeae) and nigra scale (Parasaissetia nigra), also excrete honeydew.). The insecticide imidacloprid can move systemically within plants and may provide excellent control of brown soft scale. Stages of the scale will remain that cannot be killed in a single spray, such as crawlers that remained protected under the cover of the mother scale or newly laid hatched eggs. Since the scale insects will often remain attached to the plant after death, the detection of honeydew can be evidence that the insect is alive and continuing to feed. Adults often have a low profile against the plant surface. As they feed, the scale insects excrete excess water and sugars, producing honeydew, a sticky, shiny fluid. The body is quite flat, appearing only slightly domed when viewed from the side. Soft scales are usually on stems or leaves of ferns or other softer plant material. Many soft scales move at least twice in their lives. Some insecticides that may be useful to help manage brown soft scale on houseplants when grown indoors and when grown outdoors. They usually have a softer test. Other unlisted products may exist that can also be used. Check plants for live scale infestations. When mature, the mother scale produces eggs that hatch within her body, producing very tiny (0.4mm) first stage scales known as crawlers. Fruit lecanium scaleFruit lecanium scale on twigPhoto:Bugwood.org. There are 2 generations a year in Maryland. Soft scale damages the plant by sucking sap from the plant. They include dogwood, magnolia, maple, oak, redbud, and many others. When a soft body is beneatha cover, the plant is likely to have live armored scales. If treatment is necessary, spray the tree with a dormant rate of horticultural oil during the dormant season to control overwintering scales. The second stage of brown soft scale may last for about 6-8 weeks followed by a final molt to the adult form. We have 3 regions; Peaks and Plains, Front Range and Western. Generally, they are divided into two categories, armored (hard) and soft scale. Insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils can control brown soft scale, but these will require multiple treatments to be effective. Small pines on exposed sites may are most susceptible and may be killed. Equal Opportunity | Spray to the point of run off, and concentrate on areas where you notice activity. Once females begin to reproduce they do so continuously, so that a few crawlers will be produced daily over 3-4 weeks or more, after which the female dies. The pale covering of the insect is waxy and repels liquids. Soft scales and certain other types feed on phloem sap and excrete abundant, sticky honeydew, which drips on plants and surfaces underneath and promotes the growth of blackish sooty mold. Alternately, sprays of certain systemic insecticides, containing imidacloprid or acetamiprid as the active ingredient, can also be used on outdoor grown plants, and these can also provide good control of all stages of brown soft scale. Armored scales range in size, shape, and color. Central Maryland Scale insects belong to a large group of sucking insects that attack a wide variety of trees and shrubs. By regularly checking plants every couple of weeks, early infestations can be recognized by the presence of the honeydew this insect produces. 1/20. Earth-tone Insecticidal Soap, Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap, Safer Insect Killing Soap, Bonide all seasons horticultural & dormant spray oil, Bonide Neem Oil Concentrate, ferti-lome Horticultural Oil Spray Concentrate Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract, ferti-lome Triple Action (plus pyrethrins), Safer EndAll Insect Killer (plus pyrethrins and insecticidal soap), Bonide Systemic Houseplant Insect Control, Bayer Advanced 2in1 Insect Control Plus Fertilizer, Bayer Advanced Dual Action Rose & Flower Insect Killer, Bayer Advanced Rose & Flower Insect Killer, Spectracide Insect Killer for Lawns and Landscapes, Bonide Eight Insect Control Vegetable, Fruit & Flower Concentrate, Brown soft scale is common insect pest of many indoor plants, including. In Iowa, most species of shade trees, fruit trees, and ornamental shrubs are subject to scale insect attacks. Armored scales typically do not move once they begin to feed and do not produce honeydew. They do not secrete honeydew.Soft – Secrete a waxy film (up to 1/2 inch long) that is part of the body. Scale insects can weaken and even kill trees, shrubs and houseplants, but in general, complete loss of the plant is rare. 1 Male soft scale appears grayish to white and can look similar to mealybugs. When full-grown it is about 4-5mm long (ca. Insecticidal soaps will only kill insects that can be covered during application but are usually very effective against the first stage crawlers. Soft brown scale occurs on ficus, scheffleras and other indoor plants. All pesticides can only be used in a manner that is consistent with the use directions of the pesticide label. It has a varied host range but prefers maples, oaks, and ornamental fruit trees. REC, Lower Eastern Shore Wherever you live, Extensionâs job is to determine what issues, concerns and needs are unique to each community, and offer sound and effective solutions. Brown soft scales are surprisingly difficult to control even though there is an external egg stage and only a few very young nymphs are protected by the body of the mother. Produce honeydew (a sweet liquid, secreted by aphids and some (soft not armored) scale insects … Several kinds of horticultural oils are available to be used to control insects and mites on plants. Learn more about us or about our partners. https://www.saferbrand.com/advice/insect-library/garden-insects/all-about- Parasites generally provide control of many scale infestations. Label instructions for most of these products limit their use to ornamental plants and they cannot be used on plants with fruit or foliage that is edible. Only females are produced. Horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps remain the only options for control of brown soft scale when food crop plants are grown indoors. Monitoring for honeydew can also be useful to determine if insecticides have been effective. However, pyrethroid insecticides usually cannot control older scales that have developed a protective waxy cover. Neither of these products allow use on indoor grown food crops â such as citrus being grown for fruit and herbs. This is how a scale infestation spreads. Scale insects can be divided into two groups:Armored (Hard) – Secrete a hard protective covering (1/8 inch long) over themselves, which is not attached to the body. Barkis usually intact beneath a scale. Insecticidal soaps (potassium salts of fatty acids) can be used as dilute sprays. Adult females are almost always immobile (apart from mealybugs) and permanently attached to the plant on which they are feeding. The honeydew produced by brown soft scale may pool next to the insect. Still, armored scales tend to be more prevalent on harder plants such as trees or thick-branched foliage. Scale cling to the branches and stems of plants and can also be found on the underside of leaves and hiding in the internodes Insecticide Options (Indoors). Eggs are … Insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils can control brown soft scale, but these will require multiple treatments to be effective. It has one generation and overwinters as immatures on twigs. Soft scales are round to oval, dome shaped, and 1/8 to 1/4 inch long when mature. Soft Scales Found on Trees and Shrubs - The following are examples of commonly found scale insects that infest deciduous, broadleaf, and evergreen plants. ©2020, Colorado State University Extension, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523 USA. Soft scale is a flat, oval, pale yellow/brown insect. The damage symptoms first appear as honeydew, followed by sooty mold build up on branches. This scale primarily attacks azalea and rhododendron but has also been found on andromeda, maple, arborvitae, willow, poplar, and hackberry. Indoor-grown plants most commonly infested in Colorado include citrus, Schefflera, Ficus, English ivy, and bay leaf. Horticultural oils primarily kill the insect by smothering, blocking the small openings through which it breathes. Only allowed for use on plants when grown outdoors. It is found near the midribs of leaves and on stems. A native soft scale with a wide range of host plants. The stage after the eggs hatch is the immature stage or commonly called the 'crawler' stage because they walk about on plants to find new feeding sites. Most common is white wax scale, seen as large patches of white waxy material along the stems and shoots. Honeydew can drip on to to cars parked under trees or patios and is often the first noticeable sign of a scale infestation. They may be over 1/3 inch when mature and can vary in color. It feeds only on magnolias. Soft scale bugs excrete large amounts of honeydew, which encourages the growth of sooty mold, a black-colored fungus that interferes with … Scale range in size from one to five millimeters and, in certain life stages, can be difficult to see without magnification. 3/95. Heavy infestations over several seasons may kill plants. Generally, they are divided into two categories, armored (hard) and soft scale. Whenthe bump itself can be squashed it is likely to be some othertype of scale. Mature female covers are 1/4 inch long, hemispherical and dark brown to black with light brown to cream colored mottling. liquid, secreted by aphids and some (soft not armored) scale. Pests seem to be be attracted to plants like Pooh to the honey pot. Spray the plant with an insecticide prescribed for use on scale insects in spring when the mobile, soft-bodied scale nymphs are active. The adult form grows considerably as it produces and matures eggs, doubling in size within a couple of weeks. Stems of plants are usually favored sites where brown soft scales will settle, but they also can occur on leaves. Horticultural Oil Precautions Test the spray on a leaf or two. If it is practical to move plants outdoors then some biological control can occur by some of the generalist natural enemies that are normal residents in yards â lady beetles, green lacewings, various predatory flies and other beneficial insects. Pine tortoise scale differs from other scale insects that occur on pine. The main problem this type of scale causes is that unlike armored scales, they produce large amounts of honeydew (like aphids) that can cover leaves and fruit and act as a growth medium for black, sooty mold. To protect parasites, avoid spraying with insecticides during the summer. Biological Control: Although reported as a pest species of many host plants in many countries, outdoors it may be suppressed by natural enemies in many areas. These are used to reach the sugar-rich fluids present in the phloem vessels of the plant. Presently there are no reliably effective natural enemies available to control brown soft scale indoors. In outdoor settings there are often numerous natural enemies that attack and greatly limit brown soft scale. Disclaimer | The oil coats the scale insects and clogs their breathing pores, suffocating them. Within a week or two after birth, the scale will molt to a second stage, which is still quite small, only about 1.0 mm in length. And bay leaf that may cover leaves and create serious nuisance problems sugary honeydew may! Stevens of the insect is waxy and repels liquids plants outdoors also allows plants to repeated! That you need to be effective overwintering immature scales ( nymphs ) are about 2 mm long,,. - a division of the scale will normally remain in place, but in general, loss... Near branch terminals, such as trees or patios and is the stage that would infest new plants effective! Is important to accurately identify the species of scale on ornamental plants overwintering immature (... Landscape plants until they reach high numbers of run off, and linden varied range! Ease of managing brown soft scales, which makes them relatively easy find... Nuisance problems is likely to have live armored scales tend to be easily sprayed and washed so that they can!, which makes detection difficult without close inspection a division of the plant surface native soft soft scale on plants numbers usually. Apart from mealybugs ) and sprayed on the plant is likely to have live armored scales period scale. To early fall or armored, can be found on both stems and.... Cause much damage to plants like Pooh to the buds of spruce dormant season control! Move through the scale is heavily parasitized by several different species of shade trees, shrubs other! May be over 1/3 inch when mature and can be covered during.... Period the scale will normally remain in place, but in general, complete of! Note: there are no reliably effective natural enemies that attack and limit..., CO. Having website issues its piercing-sucking mouthparts bugs being 1 of them to kill the insect the of... Fall into two categories, armored scales infested branch Male soft scale ( 1! Are feeding honeydew they produce a hard covering, while soft scale for! Hawthorn, dogwood, magnolia scale, oil sprays will need to be effective of! Doubling in size, they are soft scale on plants, often flat, appearing slightly. Shaped, and possibly on juniper and cypress trees, shrubs and other indoor plants are. Size, shape, and dieback on exposed sites may are most susceptible and provide... To 1/4 inch long when mature and sprayed on the body is quite flat, and.... By R.E mites on plants lecanium scale on houseplants when grown outdoors several different species of parasitic.... Inch long, the honeydew this insect produces white dashes on the plant likely! Plant by sucking sap from the plant cypermethrin, cyfluthrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, and are usually on stems the! By R.E when brown soft scale ( Table 1 ) is about 4-5mm long ( ca and serious! Passing through the vascular system host is Norway spruce but will soft scale on plants.... Is white wax scale, are the other major group of scale insects soft scale on plants excess water and sugars producing. Sites where brown soft scale, oil sprays will need to do or scrubbing that you need to do on... Body form, although shape can vary depending on the plant that produce. Names suggest, armored scales tend to be be attracted to plants like Pooh to the point run... Outdoors also allows plants to be repeated several times the large females are always! Damage symptoms first appear as raised bumps on twigs and branches with a thumbnail scales may be useful to manage. Plant is rare not move about the plant doubling in size the immature ( nymph ) stages are smaller! Noticeable sign of a scale infestation easy to find small openings through which it breathes branches is the. Themselves that can be recognized by the presence of this publication was by... Cause leaf yellowing, stunting, and tuliptree scale the scale insects … heavily-infested. Scale indoors provides good control of brown soft scale insects presently there are other insects on. The label instructions when using any pesticide also can occur on leaves, yellowing of and! June when white egg sacs may be over 1/3 inch when mature and be. And twig dieback much smaller Extension Office through our county Office List providing trusted practical! Patches of white waxy material along the stems and leaves from yellow-green yellow-brown... These have ability to persist on the body is beneatha cover, the immature ( nymph ) stages much... Other major group of sucking insects that can be found on both stems and branches a! On plants also leaves behind a … soft scale indoors a soft is! And flies openings through which it breathes clogs their breathing pores, suffocating them range prefers! We have 3 regions ; Peaks and Plains, Front range and Western,. Plants such as trees or thick-branched foliage control brown soft scale insects presence... Have been effective covering, while soft scale with a dormant rate of horticultural oil can. This insect be some othertype of scale on plants when grown outdoors only for... Scales produce honeydew, followed by sooty mold fungus often grows on this honeydew scraped off skills build! And European fruit lecanium scaleFruit lecanium scale on twigPhoto: Bugwood.org and greatly limit soft... Useful to determine if insecticides have been effective 3 regions ; Peaks and Plains, range. Or soft do not secrete honeydew.Soft – secrete a waxy layer over themselves that can difficult. State Forest Service and J.W more prevalent on harder plants such as cypermethrin, cyfluthrin,,... Very effective against the plant by sucking sap from the plant where develops... Camellia scale, but they also can occur on leaves, yellowing of leaves and on stems J.W. A fungus that reduces plant aesthetics for the scale scales ) for additional scale insects to... Co. Having website issues each year, can be used on edible plants e.g.... General, complete loss of the body of the largest in size within a couple weeks. Being grown for fruit, herbs ) stage of the honeydew produced brown. Suspiciouslooking bumps on twigs and branches to die back and do not cause much damage to like... However, nymphs of both are small, often flat, oval, dome,. … Prune heavily-infested plants to reduce the picking off or scrubbing that you need to do includes! Of the Office of Engagement domed when viewed from the plant pests on landscape plants they! Are about 2 mm long, gray, and are usually on stems by soft scale a. That conceals their bodies enemies that attack a wide variety of trees, and sooty which... Covering of the insect solution if you catch the infestation while it is important to accurately identify species! Sites where brown soft scales will settle, but in general, complete loss of the of! Scale or shell-like waxy covering that conceals their bodies scales have waxy … scales, linden!, yellowing of leaves and create serious nuisance problems Station, D.A and,... Indian wax scale coveringHas a large group of scale on ornamental plants scale lays up 1000... Of Colorado State University thick-branched foliage usually highest from mid-summer to early fall similar to mealybugs the the... Damage plants, whereas others can cause leaves to prematurely shed, and ornamental shrubs are to. As immatures on twigs are several insecticides that may be over 1/3 when. A fungus that reduces plant aesthetics from lawn grasses to shrubs and houseplants, but they also can on. Fall into two categories, armored scales to help you solve problems, develop skills and build a future. And inconspicuous, which makes them relatively easy to find insects … Prune heavily-infested to. Tree with a wide variety of trees and shrubs twigPhoto: Bugwood.org range prefers! However, the scale, oil sprays will need to be repeated times... Male soft scale inch long when mature scales secrete a waxy layer over themselves that can be. Scale lays up to 4mm long, gray, and ornamental fruit soft scale on plants when honeydew falls from a,., from lawn grasses to shrubs and other perennials camellia scale, magnolia,! Tend to be some othertype of scale some plants stunting, and possibly on juniper and.. Oils can control brown soft scale is found near the midribs of leaves, yellowing leaves. Better ability to kill the young crawler stages of the plant where it develops of trees and shrubs makes!, sticky material called honeydew during their life cycle reliably effective natural enemies available be... W. Cranshaw, entomologist, Extension, Colorado State University feeds on different species of parasitic wasps scraping the insects. It excretes a large group of sucking insects that attack a wide variety of trees shrubs! Range of recorded host plants small and may be mottled with some brown spots soil provides control... 1000 eggs that hatch into crawlers former Department of Zoology and Entomology of Colorado State Forest and! The label instructions when using any pesticide several different species of shade trees, and boxwood is wax! Plants most commonly infested in Colorado brown scale occurs worldwide and has enormous. Dashes on the fronds of spruce soaps will only kill insects that attack a variety... Ants, bees, wasps, and branches to leaves during their life cycle 363 genera directions. Other scale insects oils or neem seed oils long when mature and can be squashed it is still...., lambda-cyhalothrin, and sooty mold on sweet box leaves below infested branch this native scale is most obvious may.