Any ways to control scale?

HelloPandaNF(Zone Five)March 24, 2012

I have a "star jasmine" that I acquired about a year ago. Like my usual self I didn't really check for bugs, because...I'm just pretty darn lazy! Lol

Well as it turns out, a few weeks later it started dying, and I saw what I thought were mites. Since then I tried spraying with alcohol, soapy water, and even cut all the green leaves off just to stop the "mites". Well the last method revealed that these weren't some unidentified mite, but scale bugs! The jasmine has grown a little more now, and seemed fine...until it started flowering. I was so happy to see that the bug was finally gone (or so I thought), and then I saw some water droplets that were really sticky. This made me suspicious, and sure enough THE SCALE IS STILL THERE! The plant still seems o.k., but there are new little dots every day. The plant is about four feet tall, next to an oleander which I think is being infected as well! Is there any way I can stop this with household items, or should I look for insecticides? It's an indoor plant, since I'm in zone 5...

Sorry for the lengthy post, and thanks in advance!

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birdsnblooms

Hello, Hello, lol.

You're not lazy..when we buy plants we expect healthy specimens.

What worked for me is Fish Emulsion. I swear by it. Fish Emulsion is organic, no chemicals to contend with.

The only drawback is, Fish Emulsion has an odor that lasts about 3 days.
There's an odorless type, but I've never used it, so don't know if it's really odor-free or has less smell than the original.

The good news is, it works.

BTW, since your Oleander neighbors the infested Jasmine, it probably has Scale.

The same thing happened to me. I ordered an Olve tree via mail. It arrived at night, so after removing from the box it was set between two Citrus Trees.

A few days later, while misting, I noticed brown lumps on the Olive's leaves. After a thorough inspection, I discovered the brown lumps were Scale. Both citrus branches nearest the olive had Scale, too.

A citrus grower from Fl informed me how they use Fish Emulsion on their citrus trees as a prvetative to Scale.

I followed her directions..two days later Scale were dead..and never returned..This happened 1999.

I still spray with FE as a preventative.

There are other methods, including hand-picking, but FE did the job on my plants. Toni

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 3:56PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Horticultural (hort) oils are purposely formulated to efficiently smother most stubborn pests, including scale, and are very effective as well as safe. You can find hort oils at most big box stores and most nurseries. Look for hort oil that says 'summer', 'perfect', or 'all-season' on the label. Mix according to directions and apply with a tank sprayer or spritzer, making sure to cover the plant completely, including all the leaf/branch crotches and underside of foliage. It should knock the scale right out.

Al

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 5:19PM
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HelloPandaNF(Zone Five)

Wow, I never realized how awkward that sounds. Hello hello! Lol

Anyways, thank you! I would have never dreamed of using any fish product for killing bugs. I really don't know about the smell, though. Hopefully three days of rotting fish will be worth it!

Of course, the oils sound pretty safe as backup, maybe I'll find time to look for some...

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 7:38PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Panda, the reason that the fish oil may work is BECAUSE of the oil. It is an oil emulsion. You can get the same effect, maybe better, by using a a horticultural oil such as Al mentions. These oils are organically sound, highly effective against scale insects (and others) and....they don't stink.

Personally, I wouldn't use the oil as your back up but as your 'go to' product. Horticultural oils are readily available in any garden center or gardening section of your favorite big box store. They've been in use for generations.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 10:40PM
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HelloPandaNF(Zone Five)

Ok, thanks. I was wondering why fish would kill bugs...

They have kind of disappeared now, I have no idea why. I'll use those oils, though!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 6:15PM
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elichka(6b)

Toni,

I have some scale on couple Haworthia and Aloe. Do you think its safe to use FE. Also, do you use some particular brand? Do you dilute or use straight?
Thanks a lot
Inna

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 12:22PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Inna, that's the problem with using a product for an un-labeled use. You'll have to rely totally on the personal experience of a few folks who have used the fish oil on the plants you've mentioned. The dilution rate and brand name will change from person to person. I know that Toni always says to use one capful per I forget how much liquid. I'd expect that the cap size might vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. And some FEs are pre-mixed. Kinda scary, if you ask me. lol

Go back and email Toni directly (via her 'my page' email address). She will be very happy to help you if FE is the route you wish to take.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Johnsp(6b)

With horticultural oils just be aware that some plants are sensitive to them and will damage the foliage. These are petrochemical oils not plant based oils. I've learned this from experience. I've got a scale problem now on some of my Phalaenopsis so I'm going to try the fish emulsion.

Scott

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 2:07PM
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birdsnblooms

Inna, sorry, I didn't see your question.

FE is organic, (no-chemicals)and safe for all plants.

I use 1 capful FE per 16-20 oz water, in a spray bottle. Shake well, then spray upper and lower foliage.

I also fertilize succulents with Fish Emulsion via soil.

Rhizo is correct about FE working because of the oil.
However, the reason I prfer FE to insecticidal oil is because it fertilizes 'foliar' while it prevents/kills insects.

It's just a matter of preference.

I hope everyone rids Scale..they're fast workers and attract ants. Ants and Scale work as a team, lol.
Toni

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 4:39PM
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elichka(6b)

Toni,

Thanks, i will go to HD first thing in the morning

Inna

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 6:58PM
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Baby G (Z10, 300?CH, SoCal-LA)(10)

I bought a large Jasmine at a yard sale and set it down next to a wall of jasmine at my house. Three days later, guess what I noticed?? Little beige sesame seeds sticking to the leaves and milky white stuff underneath...Scale!
I'm going to use Toni's fish oil trick.

Do you all think I need to spray my citrus trees and pit fruit trees preventatively? I have about two dozen potted trees waiting to go in the ground. Yikes!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:24PM
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Kourken(9B-10)

I have a purple hibiscus bush that had a huge growth spurt this summer. It is planted in the ground. The last few weeks the scale have progressively taken it over and of course an army of ants also came, protecting the scale from its natural predators.

I tried Neem oil for the last two weeks, applying it 2-3 a week. It seemed to control it a little but the ants got worse and so did the scale eventually.

So I took your advice Toni and tried the FE. Bam!! Gone in 2 applications, at least so far, crossing my fingers. The first time I applied it, the scale were crawling out from under the mulch, running for their lives! They really do not like this stuff. And to make the ants go away, I sprinkled cinnamon at the base of the plant and also on the stems that had been hit worst by the scale. After two days, I only see a few ants here and there.

Just wanted to share in case your plant is outdoors and also vouch for the excellent advice about the fish emulsion. The stuff really works!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 5:23PM
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Kourken(9B-10)

I have a purple hibiscus bush that had a huge growth spurt this summer. It is planted in the ground. The last few weeks the scale have progressively taken it over and of course an army of ants also came, protecting the scale from its natural predators.

I tried Neem oil for the last two weeks, applying it 2-3 a week. It seemed to control it a little but the ants got worse and so did the scale eventually.

So I took your advice Toni and tried the FE. Bam!! Gone in 2 applications, at least so far, crossing my fingers. The first time I applied it, the scale were crawling out from under the mulch, running for their lives! They really do not like this stuff. And to make the ants go away, I sprinkled cinnamon at the base of the plant and also on the stems that had been hit worst by the scale. After two days, I only see a few ants here and there.

Just wanted to share in case your plant is outdoors and also vouch for the excellent advice about the fish emulsion. The stuff really works!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 5:28PM
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Lodewijkp

Scale is the most anoying pest there is... at least mites you can control , scale will come back and their coating prevents most stuff from killing them.

GET RID of all the SOIL , just get bare roots and soak those ( along with as much of vine if you can ) in a bucket with water ( with or without pesticides ) for 24 hours.

Also keep it dry, water sparingly

Scale keeps coming back from eggs that are in the soil and they sure like wet conditions.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 7:19AM
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