Southeastern Ornamental Horticulture Production and Integrated Pest Management

News alerts and tips from Southeastern universities.

Wax scale eggs hatching

Indian wax scale Ceroplastes ceriferus is a common scale on landscape plants.  In particular we find it on hollies, cherry laurel, spirea, boxwood, and barberry.  Indian wax scale is a soft scale that, as the name suggests, looks like white, gray, or pinkish wax on the branches of infested plants.  Indian wax scale secrete a lot of honey dew as do most soft scales. This can create sooty mold and reduce the aesthetic appeal of landscape plants. Heavy infestations will reduce plant vitality.  Indian wax scale has one generation per year.  They overwinter as mostly as adults but we have found younger stages in the fall and spring that apparently overwintered.  In spring crawlers emerge and crawl around to find a new feeding site.  Crawlers are the best stage to target for control of any scale and for wax scale the time is now.  Crawlers are emerging from eggs under the heavy wax covers on campus right now.  At this stage crawlers can be killed very easily as they are small and unprotected.  Thus horticultural oil is a very viable option.  Systemic products such as neonicotinoids make the plant toxic so crawlers and later stages will be killed as they feed.  More information can be found at: http://ecoipm.com/ or

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/shrubs/note156/note156.html