Indoors this nasty pest can be present all year round but as temperatures and hours of daylight rise you may find bigger infestations.
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You would be forgiven for mistaking scale insect and the evidence of it's presence as aphid as they suck the sap from your plant and produce large quantities of honeydew. Some species' eggs are covered in white waxy masses leading gardeners to believe they have mealybug or wooly aphid.
As their name suggests, they look like scales and form on the stems of plants and on the underside of leaves, especially on the veins.
They start off light brown and weken plants through their feeding but also by stopping the plant from being able to photosynthesise due to the black soot that eventually covers the honeydew.
You can treat scale with nematodes, unlike regular nematode application the solution is sprayed on to the leaves of affected plants. The nematodes 'swim' on the film of water allowing them to enter the scale insect and kill them.
The temperature must be above 14°C for treatment to work and you must follow the steps below carefully but this provides a really great way of controlling scale.
How to treat with nematodes
1. The leaves should first be sprayed with a soap solution to break the surface tension. You can make this yourself or use our own product SHOP NOW
2. Make up the nematode solution as per the instructions on the inside of the pack and spray onto the wet leaves/stems
3. The plant must remain wet for at least 12 hours after application to ensure the nematodes stay active. Either regularly mist with water or cover with plastic to achieve this but ensure that you do not wash the nematodes off!
4. Repeat the process at 3 weekly intervals x 3. so you will be treating the plants for around 2 and a half months
We sell the 60 sqm packs in sets of two or three so that the program above can be adhered to, you can store the second (and third pack in the fridge for 2-3 weeks until needed)