ladybirdplantcare
Organic Controls for Garden Pests
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Scale attacks

Scale insects are brown wart-like creatures that tend to congregate on the underside of leaves and suck sap. They are most visible when on a light-coloured area and on dark branches may be hard to spot. Scale insects are not easy to remove or to kill.The scale forms a kind of shell over the insect and protects it from predators and insecticides. The scales are not only unsightly - over a period of time they debilitate the plant and can even kill it.

Like all insects which pierce the cells, scale often leaves a tell-tale sticky residue which attracts black mould


Click here for Scale Predators

You will find different kinds of scale on different plants. The photo above shows soft scale under the microscope, the pictures below show scale on an olive and a bay, and the picture to the bottom right shows an unusual form of scale found on citrus called cotton cushion scale.

Removing scale

The adults are like a big maternity ward - they lay eggs underneath themselves from which hatch out literally hundreds of babies. So try and remove every adult you can with a fingernail, cotton bud, or soapy water.

Killing Crawlers

The problem with scale (and mealybug) is that they spread through the tiny, tiny, crawling 'babies' (properly called 'larvae') who are only active for a short while and are very difficult to spot. For that reason it is good to wipe down your plants with horticultural soft soap or SB Invigorator if you bring in plants in the Autumn - a house or greenhouse is a great refuge for these troublesome pests.

Scale Predators

We offer a control for soft scale, which is a mix of two different parasites: Metaphycus helvolus and Encyrtus infelix. These are all very small flying insects which target scale insects, sucking the juices out of some and laying their eggs in others. They each live about a month and lay approximately 6 eggs a day, the young of which emerge through a small hole after 3 or 4 weeks.
They work best between 20-30C, so are best introduced from May when temperatures and light levels are at their highest. None of them will be easily noticeable flying around the conservatory as they are only a mm or two across. As with other biological pest controls, they are not interested in humans or pets!

Scale Predators

Use a single introduction of these beneficial insects on the most heavily infected plant. They will be breeding their own within a month
More information...

Tub of Scale Mix 25 insects
26.95 inc P&P
Sorry not available until 2017