Interestingly, scale varies widely in its effect on plants. Here are a few additional tips…. 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). 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. Then spray it directly on the scale and on the leaves of your infested plant. I have tried neem oil and horticulture oil but it doesn t seem to do anything to get rid of them. But, here are a few of the most common places where they may have come from…. How do you get rid of scale on houseplants? It’s hard to get rid of scale on houseplants the first few times you try, it will take several treatments. Otherwise, you’ll just be picking off the adults, and you’ll never eradicate the infestation. I used tweezers and/or a butter knife sharp. 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… 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. The oil coats the scale insects and clogs their breathing pores, suffocating them. Honeydew is a sweet waste product that can attract wasps and cause your plants to become covered in sooty mould. Two main groups exist: armored or hard scales; and unarmored or soft scales. also they seem to only be on the side of the tree that is not directly facing the sun. Whenthe bump itself can be squashed it is likely to be some othertype of scale. When you discover scale on plant leaves, the first question you’ll ask is where the heck did they come from? If you decide to repot a plant after treating it for scale, then be sure to sterilize the pot before reusing. Treatment. P.R., Clear Lake. They like to hide, so be sure to check the plant from a bunch of different angles too. An open window – the crawlers are tiny, so you never know! Use rubbing alcohol to kill scale on houseplant, Make Your Own Homemade Scale Insecticide Soap. Definitely don’t repot your plant if it’s infested with scale though. 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. Armored scale live under a platelike, nippled cover that is approximately 1/8 inch in diameter. Here’s how to get rid of mealybugs. Iâm a passionate gardener who loves growing everything from vegetables, herbs, and flowers to succulents, tropicals, and houseplants - you name, I've grown it! So keep your family and pets safe, and skip the toxic chemical pesticides on your houseplants. This is vital because insecticides balanced to eradicate one species of scale may be entirely ineffective on another. I have a ficus that is about four feet tall. Even if you are able to kill all of the adults, the eggs and babies are tiny and easily overlooked. and, once they find a good place to start feeding and mature into adults, they never move again. Yes, scale can be difficult to get rid of. Feed plants regularly, do what you can to improve the soil and make sure that plants are well watered. Scale varies in color, shape, and size, but most often appears as small, brown, rounded lumps on your plant’s leaves and stems. 2. Sometimes it feels like all of the plant bugs on the planet are trying to attack my houseplants! There are many different types of scale insects, mealy bugs being 1 of them. Even worse, scale tends to attach to the stems and undersides of the leaves of plants, and loves hard-to-reach crevices. For scales on deciduous plants including edible fruits, a plant oil winter wash (considered organic e.g. Dabbing individual pests with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab or neem-based leaf shine will also work when infestations are light. 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. Commercially available beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewing, are natural predators of the young larval or “crawler” stage. Barkis usually intact beneath a scale. Since scales lock themselves on the plant, they cannot be washed off easily with a water stream. If scale insects are on the roots, it would be at the top right under the soil, near the stem of the plant. 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. An added bonus is that neem oil has a residual effect to help with future pest prevention too. I water weekly. 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. Yes, scale will harm the plant over time if left untreated. 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. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 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. Ineffective treatment. Alternatively, instead of dabbing with alcohol, you can use a spray bottle and spray rubbing alcohol directly onto the bugs. 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? 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. 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. Identify the species of scale infesting the host plant. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Mix about 5 tablespoons of insecticidal soap or a very mild dish soap into 1 gallon (3.8 L) of water. A brief tutorial on what I have found to be the most effective plant scale eliminating method. As they age the waxy coating gets stronger. Download your copy today! Growing Success Winter Tree Wash) can be used. 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. I’ve successfully descaled my houseplants, and so can you! Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Indoor plant bugs can come from anywhere, so don’t go crazy trying to figure it out what causes scale on plants. 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!). 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. My green thumb comes from my parents, and I've been gardening most of my life. Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox. Other plants succumb before you can even notice the problem. Thereâs a wealth of information here that Iâve never seen before! Insecticidal soap can also be sprayed on houseplants to kill scales. You’ll need to thoroughly spray the plant weekly until the infestation is gone. Your email address will not be published. You can effectively treat scales infesting your plants using horticultural oil. Scale is highly invasive so the first step to controlling a scale infestation is to remove the affected plant from healthy plants. It’s easier for a strong, healthy tree to fight off diseases and pests, so proper maintenance is key. 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. Disclosure. 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