Scale InsectsJanice Meakin
There are many different species of Scale insects which can basically be divided into two different families; The Soft Scales (Coccidae) and the Hard Scales (Diaspididae). Scale insects often look like small bumps on the stems and under the leaves of the many plant, shrub and tree species that they can infest (see Fig. 1). Adult female scale insects cannot move, so they remain on their host plants, protected by a waxy shield that they produce. They feed on plant sap yet generally it is only the soft scales that produce honeydew and cause sooty moulds. Soft scales cannot be detached from their shields, whereas hard scales can. Depending on the species, female scale insects can lay between 250 and 2000 eggs or live young underneath their shields. The females then die, allowing the young to develop whilst protected beneath the shield. When ready, the young move to find a suitable place on the plant where they can plug their feeding tubes in and feed on the sap. They then shed their skin and lose mobility.
Using SB Plant Invigorator to control Scale Insects:
Independent research studies have shown that SBPI can be highly effective at controlling Scale insects if used correctly (Figs 1 and 2).
A thorough application of SBPI applied to the infested areas and to the point it runs off the plant is required.
Eggs and the small mobile juveniles that remain underneath the parental shield can be more difficult to control with SBPI so further regular applications at weekly or fortnightly intervals are recommended to ensure the infestation is fully eradicated.
Continued regular use of SBPI will protect plants from further scale infestations.
Spraying as often as weekly may seem excessive but please rememberSBPI provides foliar nutrients, comprehensive pesticide and mildewcide all at the same time.
Most people who use SBPI weekly rarely have to use other products. Resistance to SBPI will not occur due to its physical mode of action.
Figure 1. Scale Insects infesting a potato stem
Figure 2. Scale insects 4 days after treatment with SBPI, surrounded by dead juveniles