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Scale Insects

Nothing diminishes the beauty of trees in your yard more than noticing the large amounts of unattractive bumps found on the leaves and branches. There are many factors that can be attributed to what is causing these conditions to occur in your trees and shrubs, and one such culprit is that you have an infestation of scale insects.

Scale insectsThere are two main types of scale insects: armored and unarmored. While both types are protected with wax built up by the insects themselves, the armored species has wax that covers their entire body. Unarmored scale insects on the other hand only have a small shell that covers their back, resembling a turtle shell.

Although the two types of scale insects are small and would seem to cause only minor damage, they both contain large pointy, needle-like mouth parts that are up to eight times the length of their body. These scale insects then insert these mouth parts into tree leaves and limbs, feeding on the tree sap, and when untreated, the continued feeding directly hampers the growth of the tree.

Scale insects can also produce a sticky sap, called “honeydew,” that can create a great environment for fungus to grow and adds further damage to trees and shrubs. Scale insects also kill twigs, branches, resulting in severe damage to an otherwise healthy tree.

Scale insects are mostly dormant over winter, with the unfertilized females begin laying eggs in the spring. These eggs hatch as small legged scale insects who then migrate to a good place to feed, loosing their legs soon after while developing their waxy shell. The male scale insects, over time, develop wings that they use to travel from area to area in finding females to fertilize.

In our areas of service, the best time to control scale insects is during the insect’s dormant period with the use of a dormant spray, or when they are crawlers usually in early to mid-summer and looking to reproduce. The most effective application is generally a dormant spray between November and March, preferably February and March. During the mobile crawler stage in early summer, June and July, scale insects can be susceptible to insect-controlling products. Some scale insects can also be controlled with systemic products, but results are not easy to determine.

If you are worried about the problems that Scale Insects may cause your trees and shrubs, contact us today at (877) 944-4007 or click to receive a FREE estimate. Allow our professionals to take the headache out of dealing with these annoying insects and protect your tree and shrub investments.