As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I’m a passionate gardener who loves growing everything from vegetables, herbs, and flowers to succulents, tropicals, and houseplants - you name, I've grown it! How to treat a cactus for scale bugs. Look on olive trees, citrus or passionfruit vines and you'll probably find black scale. Use rubbing alcohol to kill scale on houseplant, Make Your Own Homemade Scale Insecticide Soap. It takes a few weeks for the eggs to hatch into nymphs (aka scale crawlers), and then another 6-9 weeks for the crawlers to mature into adults. It's important to treat the entire plant, as scale can be present on stems, the undersides of leaves, and along the base of the plant. Two main groups exist: armored or hard scales; and unarmored or soft scales. Recommended products to control Scale Insects Yates Nature's Way Citrus & Ornamental Spray Organically certified insecticide for effective control of insect pests on … Then spray it directly on the scale and on the leaves of your infested plant. In order for rubbing alcohol to be effective, it … You will usually find houseplant scale hanging out on the stems and leaf joint of an infested houseplant, and along the veins of the leaves, but you could find them anywhere on a plant. Inspect the plant thoroughly, as well as any adjacent plants, to ensure you have removed … Like I said before, they don’t look like bugs so you probably won’t even notice them until your plant has become infested. and, once they find a good place to start feeding and mature into adults, they never move again. Some scales can seriously damage their host, while other species do no apparent damage to plants even when scales are very abundant. Hi, you said that also the roots could be infected, in that case what is to be done, wash the roots and repot ? They can be scrapped off leaves with a dull knife. I’m so happy I found your website! Identify the scale's crawler stage by placing sticky traps (available at your local garden center) around the trap. Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox. Healthy plants are less likely to suffer from insects like scale. It worked for me. As you work on removing scale from plants, be sure that you check every crevice of the plant, around the leaf and stem joints, and underneath all of the leaves. How To Get Rid Of Whiteflies On Indoor Plants, For Good! Consult the tables provided by the University of California to identify the specific form encountered. Keep in mind that some types of soap can damage plants, so it’s best to test any type of spray on a couple leaves before you spray the entire plant. This scale bug treatment method works very well for small infestations, and to get rid of as many of the large scale insects that you can so you can gain the upper hand. When honeydew falls from a tree, leaves shouldbe inspected for live soft scales or mealybugs. Their color can range anywhere from brown to tan to white. Scale insects are very difficult to see on a plant. The names refer to the shell-like coverings which protect the insect body. I’ve successfully descaled my houseplants, and so can you! Please advise. I don’t recommend using a chemical scale pesticide, because houseplant scale are resistant to most pesticides. It’s hard to get rid of scale on houseplants the first few times you try, it will take several treatments. I’ve seen a lot of scale on plants, both indoors and out. Plants). Sometimes it feels like all of the plant bugs on the planet are trying to attack my houseplants! any suggestions the tree is large. Scale insect damage can look like pock marks on plants like succulents and cacti, or it can be something as subtle as brown or yellow leaves on a plant. Mix 2 tablespoons (29.5 mL) of cooking oil and 2 tablespoons (29.5 mL) of baby shampoo in 1 gallon (1 L) of water. Scale bugs multiply very quickly, as well as suck plant’s juices and leave scars. If the scale problem is not that bad, you can physically remove them from your plant. Awesome, glad you like the website and the eBook! All content found on this website is copyrighted materials and any form of reproduction is strictly prohibited. It’s easier for a strong, healthy tree to fight off diseases and pests, so proper maintenance is key. Be sure check around the outside lip and inside edges of the pot and plant tray, and also the bottom of the pot for hiding scale insects. I have 1 quick and important question about removing a type of brown soft scale on the base of succulents. Indoor plant bugs can come from anywhere, so don’t go crazy trying to figure it out what causes scale on plants. Neem oil spray is an effective way to kill scale insects on plant To get rid of scale on plants, mix two teaspoons of organic neem oil and a teaspoon of Castile soap with a 1 quart (1 l) of lukewarm water. Your email address will not be published. Control, as with mealybug, is hindered by the protective scale covering the insect. Your email address will not be published. For scales on deciduous plants including edible fruits, a plant oil winter wash (considered organic e.g. If you do end up getting the neem oil concentrate, then you’ll need to mix it with a little bit of mild liquid soap to help the oil mix with water. also they seem to only be on the side of the tree that is not directly facing the sun. Scale bugs on plants like to cluster, so they are very noticeable once the population gets large. 5. Neem oil for houseplants is a natural insecticide for indoor plants, and it’s very effective for treating scale on houseplants. One way to kill and remove as many of the scales from the plant as you can is by using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol (you may need to pry some of them off using your fingernail). It will show you exactly how to get rid of bugs on houseplants naturally, including houseplant pests identification, home remedies for plant insects, how to keep houseplant pests from EVER coming back, and much more! 2. Once attached to a plant scale bugs stay put and generate create a waxy coating which makes killing them with any type of spray very difficult. For scales on deciduous plants including edible fruits, a plant oil winter wash (considered organic e.g. Here I’m going to be talking about soft and hard scales, which are found in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. Separate the infected plants from all other plants to prevent any scales from transferring to neighboring plants. As they feed, scale insects excrete a sticky residue which is a common sign of an infestation. Scale. Treatment. You can also subscribe without commenting. Using neem oil insecticide for scale insects, You can’t treat a plant once and expect to get rid of scale insects for good, you need to be persistent. Feed plants regularly, do what you can to improve the soil and make sure that plants are well watered. It seems to be dependent on the species of scale, rather than the species of plant. In summer, female aphids produce young aphids that mature and reproduce in a matter of just a couple weeks. Finding scale insects on your sago palms (Cycas revoluta) is no laughing matter, so you want to learn how to treat scale on sago palms quickly.The false oleander scale and the Asian cycad scale both feed on the sap of sago palms. Keep your plant quarantined until you are sure the scale is gone. How do I treat this? When you’re shopping at your favorite nursery in the spring, be sure to carefully inspect all areas of plants you intend to bring home. Pour the soap into a spray bottle and spray the plant, including the undersides of the leaves and stems, until the soap solution begins to drip. Plus, in most stages of their life cycle, pesticides won’t penetrate their hard outer shell anyway. Scale are a parasitic pest that latches onto the surface of a plant and taps into the vascular system to suck out sap. Euonymus scale, on the other hand, attacks euonymus and resembles tea scale. False oleander scales occur wherever sagos grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. First of all, start the treatment by spraying your cactus with high pressure water from a sprayer or a hose. Scales are sucking insects that insert their tiny, strawlike mouthparts into bark, fruit, or leaves, mostly on trees and shrubs and other perennial plants. Is that part of the problem? Though it’s good to scrape them off as part of your treatment routine, the eggs and babies are difficult to see. This technique is referred to as integrated pest management (IPM), and all you have to do is put the predator insect directly on your plant. P.R., Clear Lake. Other plants succumb before you can even notice the problem. Simply follow these organic houseplant scale treatment methods. When you find scale on plants, getting rid of them can take some time – but it’s not impossible! It was purchased as a bonsai plant, and it lives indoors. If the bugs on your houseplants are white and fuzzy and look more like mildew, those are mealybugs. Otherwise, you’ll just be picking off the adults, and you’ll never eradicate the infestation. When you notice scale nymphs getting stuck on the trap, its time to spray. Scrub the pot with soapy water, or better yet, put it in the dishwasher to sterilize it. Growing Success Winter Tree Wash) can be used. Flip over suspiciouslooking bumps on twigs and branches with a thumbnail. A brief tutorial on what I have found to be the most effective plant scale eliminating method. But don’t worry, scale is not a death sentence for your plants! Pruning infected branches is often the easiest and surest solution if you catch the infestation while it is still light. They like to hide, so be sure to check the plant from a bunch of different angles too. Rubbing alcohol applied with a cotton swab can also help eliminate scale if it is caught early enough. Consider the use of horticultural oil or neem oil to remove scales on your plant. You can use a pre-mixed horticultural oil or hot pepper wax spray instead of neem oil as a plant scale treatment, and these also work very well to help get rid of scale insects. Ineffective treatment. It will continue to grow upwards on the stems (or trunk on lg. Houseplant scale are gross looking things that suck the sap out of the leaves and stems of plants; resulting in stunted or deformed leaf growth, yellowing of the leaves, brown pock marks, and possibly leaf drop. Barkis usually intact beneath a scale. So plan to keep treating it with neem regularly for the long term, even after all signs of the bugs are gone. I have tried neem oil and horticulture oil but it doesn t seem to do anything to get rid of them. Here are a few additional tips…. What are aphids? Mix about 5 tablespoons of insecticidal soap or a very mild dish soap into 1 gallon (3.8 L) of water. I have no idea where they came from, but one day I suddenly noticed a scale insect infestation on my goldfish plant. Interestingly, scale varies widely in its effect on plants. One type of scale that attacks euonymus shrubs (especially Euonymus japonica) is the euonymus scale (Unaspis euonymi).This is an armored type of scale that comes in two colors: Males are white and females are brown. How to Prevent Scale One of the easiest ways to attract scale is by accidentally bringing home infested plants. If a houseplant scale infestation goes left untreated, the plant will eventually die; although it would take a long time, and a very large scale population for them to kill a large houseplant. This can also be mixed with 1 cup (236.5 mL) of alcohol to help penetrate the insect’s shell. Yes, scale can be difficult to get rid of. These sucking insects gather on leaves and stems and can quickly build up to the point where they stunt plant growth. Scale feeding on a plant can affect the vigour and also produce honeydew. As with any plant pest infestation, when you find scale insects on plants, you will want to isolate the infested plant and begin treatment immediately. You can buy neem oil concentrate for pretty cheap, and a bottle will last you a long time. You have to be persistent, because you can’t kill them all with only a few treatments. You can treat scales the similarly as you would with mealybugs. Scale insects thrive on the abundance of new tissue produced by plants that are receiving too much nitrogen. Make sure to quarantine an affected cactus. That could further stress the plant, and won’t do anything to get rid of the bugs. Eek! There’s no doubt that fighting scale on indoor plants can be super frustrating, but it’s worth it to save your favorite houseplants. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Just brush away the soil right around the base of the plant to see if you find anything there. nickcatucci.com There are about 8,000 described species of scale, but the variety I have the joy of dealing with appear as small, white and beige nodes. Houseplant scale insects can hide on the edges or the rim on a plant pot, and can easily infest any plant that’s potted in there. 6 Buy a natural predator insect as another alternative. Even if you do notice them, scale bugs on houseplants look more like a weird growth than a bug. I have a ficus that is about four feet tall. Commercially available beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewing, are natural predators of the young larval or “crawler” stage. Keep in mind that in heavily infested plants may be near impossible to remove the infestation and it may become necessary to get rid of the plant t… When you discover scale on plant leaves, the first question you’ll ask is where the heck did they come from? They also have the ability to develop a resistance to any chemical pesticides they are exposed to on a regular basis. You may also notice sticky leaves on houseplants, on their pots, or around the area where the plant is sitting. There’s a wealth of information here that I’ve never seen before! Since scales lock themselves on the plant, they cannot be washed off easily with a water stream. Scale varies in color, shape, and size, but most often appears as small, brown, rounded lumps on your plant’s leaves and stems. Growing Success Winter Tree Wash) can be used. I will definitely acquire your eBook. So keep your family and pets safe, and skip the toxic chemical pesticides on your houseplants. Download your copy today! How To Control Japanese Beetles Organically, How To Control Flea Beetles In The Organic Garden, Terms Of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy, A brand new houseplant that you recently brought home from the store, Moving your houseplants outside during the summer, Fresh produce or cut flowers from the garden (or even from the grocery store!). So remove the plant from the area and clean any crevices where plant pests could be hiding. This can control the overwintering scale nymphs in December-January when the plants are fully dormant With grape vines, peel away the loose outer bark to expose the scales before treatment But, here are a few of the most common places where they may have come from…. Florida wax scales look like waxy, white domes about the size of a nail head and occur on a wide variety of plants. Fill in a spray bottle, shake well, and liberally spray … Some plants are mostly unaffected by the presence of these parasites – even in high numbers. Here’s how to get rid of mealybugs. 4. How do you get rid of scale on houseplants? How To Treat Scale On Plants. Disclosure. This is vital because insecticides balanced to eradicate one species of scale may be entirely ineffective on another. Trim any heavily infested leaves from the plant and toss them into the trash (outside of your home). Below are some methods you can try that work great to treat houseplant scale insects. Scale insect eggs and nymphs are tiny, so it’s easy to understand why most people will never know their houseplant has scale until the population has exploded. Dabbing individual pests with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab or neem-based leaf shine will also work when infestations are light. In order for rubbing alcohol to be effective, it must come in direct contact with the scale insects. An added bonus is that neem oil has a residual effect to help with future pest prevention too. Prevention. When scale numbers are low they may be rubbed or picked off of plants by hand. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A scale crawler can move around on a plant (or migrate to surrounding plants!) If scale insects are on the roots, it would be at the top right under the soil, near the stem of the plant. 3. If your plant is small, you can bring it to the sink or shower and wash the leaves with this soap and water solution, gently removing as many of the scale as you can as you wash the plant. As they age the waxy coating gets stronger. Never trim all the leaves from a houseplant though. As a last resort make organic sprays to cure particular outbreaks. Aphids are one of the most common garden pests because they multiply at a crazy fast rate. 1. And then those baby aphids mature and produce even more aphids. To get rid of scale insects prune and dispose of infested branches, twigs and leaves. Even worse, scale tends to attach to the stems and undersides of the leaves of plants, and loves hard-to-reach crevices. That is why it is important to act quickly. There are many different types of scale insects, mealy bugs being 1 of them. One way to kill and remove as many of the scales from the plant as you can is by using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol (you may need to pry some of them off using your fingernail). Is this process harmful if will weaken the plant? Houseplant scale and damage on my cactus plant. Don’t worry, it’s easy, just follow the instructions on the label. Even better, it works … To me, they look like scabs on a plant (and that’s seriously what I thought they were the first time I saw them, haha!). Only the females feed, they are immobile once they start feeding, and they form waxy coatings as a means of protection. Identify the species of scale infesting the host plant. Even if you are able to kill all of the adults, the eggs and babies are tiny and easily overlooked. You could buy organic insecticidal soap, or you can make your own homemade insecticide for houseplants. Make sure that any insecticide you choose is listed as safe to use on the plant you are treating. They can be rounded, oval shaped or flat, and can range in size from barely visible to large bumps on a plant. Also brush away a little dirt around the base of the stem to see if any are hiding there, scale insects could also be found on the roots of the plant. Yes, scale will harm the plant over time if left untreated. Attracting predator insects to the garden is a natural way to keep scale from infesting valuable plants while causing no harm to the environment. Try it at home! Scale is highly invasive so the first step to controlling a scale infestation is to remove the affected plant from healthy plants. Required fields are marked *. Sometimes this is one way to help with plant scale identification if you’re unsure. If you notice a light infestation beginning on already established trees, immediately prune back the twig or branch and dispose of it. Keep trees well-watered and suitably pruned, and be sure to carefully inspect new plants and trees for infestations before you bring them into your yard. You can effectively treat scales infesting your plants using horticultural oil. When a soft body is beneatha cover, the plant is likely to have live armored scales. Share your scale insects treatment tips in the comments below. For now, feel free to continue reading. I used tweezers and/or a butter knife sharp. You can learn even more about all-natural houseplant pest control remedies here. There are several stages to the scale insect life cycle, and the entire cycle takes about 7-10 weeks. In this post, I will show you exactly how to get rid of scale on houseplants, FOR GOOD. Scale insects are very sneaky, and many times you will never figure out where they came from. Scale (or armored scale) describes a common family of insects that feed on various shrubs and trees. Definitely don’t repot your plant if it’s infested with scale though. My brand new book Vertical Vegetables is now available for purchase!! Use a cotton swab or Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol and apply directly on the bugs. It can take several months (or even over a year) to eradicate a heavy infestation on a large plant. If you decide to repot a plant after treating it for scale, then be sure to sterilize the pot before reusing. Like scale insects, hungry aphids feed on plant sap and leave behind sticky honeydew and sooty mold. As a last resort, a much stronger azdirachtin product may help tip the scales in your favor (so to speak). Related Post: How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats In Houseplants Soil. Until a few years ago, I’ve never had to deal with houseplant scale before. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees through links to Amazon.com. They look like small brown dots or bumps, and they don’t move. If you’re struggling to get rid of bugs on indoor plants, my Houseplant Pest Control eBook is for you! Different stages of scale insect life cycle. Keep checking your plants a few times a week, and remove any new bugs that you see. I live and garden in Minneapolis, MN (zone 4b). You’ll need to thoroughly spray the plant weekly until the infestation is gone. Scale can hide in the soil of a houseplant, so if a plant is plagued by recurring infestations, you could try removing the top inch of dirt from the pot and replacing it with. Homemade control of plant scale can also be achieved with oil spray. Neem oilis a popular way to try to kill scale, and is an organic, pesticide-free way to treat the infestation. How to Safely Keep Moose Out of Your Garden, How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Potted Plants, 11 Spring Pests and Diseases To Watch Out For This Year, How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats in 8 Simple Steps, How to Spot and Get Rid of Carrot Rust Fly on Your Garden Plants, Foxes in the Henhouse? Gross! Whenthe bump itself can be squashed it is likely to be some othertype of scale. Thankfully, the damage caused by scale insects is not as quick to occur or as devastating as it is with spider mites, but it can still look pretty bad. Homemade scale insect killer insecticide soap. The oil coats the scale insects and clogs their breathing pores, suffocating them. Scale Treatments An open window – the crawlers are tiny, so you never know! On magnolia trees, false oleander scale looks like small white bumps on the leaves, and magnolia scale appears as yellow waxy blobs about one-quarter to one-half inch across on the branches. Pests seem to be be attracted to plants like Pooh to the honey pot. In most moderate infestation cases, Method 3 is very effective and will get rid of the scales, so I recommend trying it out first. So, it’s best to use some other type of treatment (neem oil works wonders) to get rid of scale all together. Armored scale live under a platelike, nippled cover that is approximately 1/8 inch in diameter. Both suck on plant tissue, which can cause damage. Read more about how houseplants can get bugs here. Scales shoot a sweet substance called honeydew. How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites On Houseplants, For Good! Here’s How to Protect Your Chickens from Foxes, How to Spot and Get Rid of Tomato Hornworms in the Garden, 8 Tips to Get Rid of Groundhogs and Protect Your Garden, How to Deal With a Thrips Infestation in Your Garden, 12 All-Natural Ways to Get Rid of Snails and Slugs in the Garden, How to Deal and Get Rid of Skunks in Your Garden Humanely, How to Spot Broccoli Worms and Get Rid of Them for Good, Deer-Proofing Your Gardens: Surefire Ways to Keep the Deer Out, How to Kill Spotted Lanternfly and Save your Fruit Trees, How to Get Rid of Chipmunks in Your Garden, Harlequin Bug: How to Control This Pest in Your Garden. Check plants for live scale infestations. I water weekly. Alternatively, instead of dabbing with alcohol, you can use a spray bottle and spray rubbing alcohol directly onto the bugs. Honeydew is a sweet waste product that can attract wasps and cause your plants to become covered in sooty mould. Try using a product like AzaMax, which is derived from neem oil naturally, inside greenhouses or indoor growing areas. Crawlers can leave the plant, and then come back to infest it again. The plant scale spray recipe I use 1 tsp of organic mild liquid soap per 1 liter of water. Check on your garden plants and houseplants often. Insecticidal soap can also be sprayed on houseplants to kill scales. My green thumb comes from my parents, and I've been gardening most of my life. How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats In Houseplants Soil, all-natural houseplant pest control remedies here, How To Debug Plants Before Bringing Them Indoors. 1. I use 1 tsp of organic mild liquid soap per 1 liter of water the vigour and produce... The affected plant how to treat scale on plants a houseplant though, scale insects prune and of... Remove them from your plant from healthy plants are less likely to have live armored scales organic, pesticide-free to. 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