Scales are small pests that can cause significant damage to your garden. They suck sap from plants, causing leaves to yellow and wilt. Identifying scales is crucial for effective treatment.
In this article, you will learn how to spot scales on your plants and discover various methods to control and prevent their infestation.
What are scales?
Scales are small, sap-sucking insects that attach themselves to the stems, leaves, and fruits of plants. They appear as tiny bumps or scales and can range in color from brown to white.
The damage caused by scales includes yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and premature leaf drop. If left untreated, scales can weaken and even kill your plants.
What damage do scales cause on plants?
Scales cause damage to plants by sucking sap out of the leaves, stems, and fruits. This causes yellowing of leaves, stunted growth, and premature leaf drop. In severe cases, scales can weaken or even kill a plant if left untreated.
How to identify scales on plants
Scales are a common pest that can be identified by their small, round bodies and hard, protective shells. They often attach themselves to the leaves, stems, and branches of plants, sucking out their sap and causing damage.
Look for small bumps, discolored spots, or sticky residue on the plant’s surface, as these are signs of scale infestation.
How to get rid of scales
Insecticidal soap: This solution kills scales by suffocating them and disrupting their cell membranes. You can safely use it on most plants and apply it directly to the affected areas.
Neem oil: is known to repel scales and affect their feeding, growth, and reproduction. For optimal results, I recommend to apply the product as a spray and reapply every 7-14 days.
Diatomaceous earth: works by drying out the outer layer of scale insects leading to dehydration and death. You can sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the entire affected plant to cover all these scale insects.
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How to prevent scale on plants
I don’t think there are any effective methods to prevent scale on plants. It is common to encounter these pests on your vegetable plants.
I recommend you monitor your plants regularly. It helps to know immediately when scale attack the plants so you can take the action to get rid of them.
Host vegetable plants for scale
Scale insects have the potential to harm many vegetable plants. I have discovered them on my tomato and pepper plants. However, scale insects can infest various plants in the garden as they suck sap from the leaves.
Natural predators of scale
Small parasitic wasps and various predators, such as beetles, bugs, lacewings, and mites, prey on scales.