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Soft Scale Insects

Scale infestationSoft scale insects are similar to their counterparts, the armored scale insects, except that the waxy shell that is created covers only their back instead of the their whole body. The shell of the soft scale insects are likened to resemble a very small turtle shell. However, don’t let their small stature fool you into thinking that they are not destructive, because soft scale insects can still cause major damage to your trees and shrubs.

Soft scale insects attach themselves to tree leaves and branches through large mouth parts, at times up to eight times bigger than their bodies, and feed on the nutrients that trees needs to grow. The results can cause tree growth to be hampered. Also, soft scale insects can produce “honeydew”, a sticky substance on the bottom of tree leaves that is an ideal place for tree fungus, such as black mold, to grow.

Common types of soft scale insects include:

Lecanium Scale

  • Brown and turtle-shaped in appearance.
  • One generation per year.
  • Spends winter on twigs and branches.
  • Produce large amounts of honey dew that attracts wasps and ants.

Fletcher Scale

  • Dark brown in color with a shiny appearance
  • Mostly affect arborvitae and yew trees
  • Also is a producer of honeydew
  • One generation per year

Cottony Maple Scale

  • Produces large white egg sacks on tree twigs
  • Feeds on leaves in the spring and migrates to twigs in the fall
  • Produces honeydew
  • Most common on silver maples, but also can affect box elder, apple, beech, cherry and many other trees
  • One generation per year

Soft scale insects are best treated in the spring with a dormant spray.

Contact us today at (877) 944-4007 or click for a FREE Estimate. Our professional technicians qillensure your trees are taken care of while getting rid of soft scale insects.