There are many different types of scale, which may be white, brown or black. Scale insects are found on stems, leaves and twigs often clustered in large numbers.
They can be found throughout the year, often attacking plants that are stressed – for example indoor plants growing in low light conditions or plants that are dry or too shaded. Improving the health of plants is a good way to prevent pest attack. Applying Seasol regularly every two weeks will help to strengthen plants and reduce the stress of pest attack. Also, if the soil is dry, consider applying a soil wetter such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner to ensure moisture stays within the soil or potting mix. Revitalise and improve soil health and structure with a soil improver such as Seasol Biochar with Zeolite.
Scale are common pests of roses, citrus, bay trees and many indoor plants. The presence of ants on a plant may indicate scale is also present, as well as sooty mould which grows from the honeydew the scale secrete.
Control is important as if the infestation is heavy it can cause the death of the stem. Remove scale by pruning or physically squashing. Also remove ants, for example, by using sticky barriers around the trunk. Improve growing conditions with increased light and better watering, plus improve plant nutrition by applying a fertiliser such as PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives.
Various types of scale can be treated with a pest oil such as EarthCare Enviro Pest Oil insect spray. When spraying the foliage follow the directions on the back of the pack and spray both sides of the foliage. Repeat applications maybe needed for further control. Remember not to spray when beneficial insects and bees are around.