Scale insects suck sap causing plant injury, and some varieties of scale produce honeydew as a result of this feeding, attracting dark mold that further weakens a host plant. There are many types of scale insect which fall into one of two categories: soft or armored. Our selected scale control products will help you remove these tricky pests from your lawn and garden.
Scale insects are often hard to spot against the host plants they use for food. Check out our Scale Insects Identification Guide to learn more about which type of pest you're dealing with, then visit our How To Get Rid of Scale Insects page for recommended treatments. One popular method for treating scale insects is to smother the pests with a horticultural oil spray. A longer-lasting method is to apply an insecticide root drench to the affected plants. Using these methods together may give you the best results in controlling scale insects around your home or business.
What Causes Scale Insects on Plants?
Scale insects need to feed like any other animal, but they don't like to travel far to do it. When a scale pest finds a suitable host plant on which to feed, it may not move for the rest of its life. There are many varieties of scale in the United States and some types prefer a specific plant as a home. Check out our Scale Insect Inspection Guide for details on the preferred host plants for the most common varieties of scale insects.
Does Scale Damage Plants?
Scale insects cause damage to their host plants by feeding on them. Their sucking mouth parts are used to pierce the skin of a plant and drink the liquid inside. This piercing and draining robs the plant of vitality. Some scale insects also produce a sticky substance called honeydew as a by-product of their feeding. This leads to the growth of dark, sooty mold on the plant, often blocking vital sunlight and other nutrients the plant needs to grow.
Do Scale Insects Live in Soil?
Yes, scale bugs can live in the soil around houseplants or outdoor plants. If you have a scale pest infestation in a houseplant, try removing the top inch of potting soil around your plant to eliminate hidden scale larvae.
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