Tiny Black spots on Areca Palm

ShaZeApril 29, 2014

I have heard that areca palm often had brown spots on them however these one can be scratched out. I have searched around and it seems the conclusion that come up the most often to the same kind of problem is a scale infestation.

The problem is that it doesn't really look like the pictures I have seen from the scales infestations. The spots are not really perfectly oval shaped and seems much smaller.

In my opinion, it look like some kind of insect excrement, however the leaves don't seem to have any damage..

Any idea what this could be? The plant used to be maintained in a pot, outside.


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it's a different kind of scale: black scale. they are tiny and look like blk spots. they are called fly-speck scale.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:41PM
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Hmm it seems like you are probably right.

I was starting to consider that perhaps they were "Diamond scales" which are actually fungus, however most of them seemed to be everywhere while mine are mostly located on the stems on the side facing down.

I am currently brushing them out with soapy water... I feel like finishing the job will take a long time eh. I just hope that once they have all been removed, that I wont see them anymore.

Anyways, thanks a lots for the clarification! :)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 1:17AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Fly speck scale insects feed exclusively on Bromeliads. They won't be found on palms.

Yours do look much more like a fungus, I guess, but not diamond scale....that's a disease of palms but very unlikely found on Areca.

How long have you had this plant? Is it worthwhile to consider that it's been infested/infected at the growers (and imported from a tropical location)?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 5:18AM
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Yes, it has been imported from a tropical location and these spots were already present when purchased.

Some additional information :
- I tried to use hydrogen peroxide on a tiny area to see if it would bubble and it didn't.
- When scrubbed off, it look like it transformed into dust.

Is it possible that it is simply some kind of dirt which stuck to the stems? As far as I know, any fungus would have created a reaction on contact with the peroxide.

Some of the leaves that has an heavy amount of them does not seem unhealthy so far.

Well I'm not sure anymore what it is :S

This post was edited by ShaZe on Wed, Apr 30, 14 at 10:02

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:59AM
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I'm pretty sure that's par for the course on Arecas.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 11:00AM
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that's how i found out about them - 'cause i suspected spots on my brom, but thankfully i was mistaken!
however, i thought they can effect other plants too, especially in tropics.
so rhizo made me google..
the following article is about flyspeck fungus - has good pics.
you might just have to remove specks with a brush, perhaps?
may be you should ask in palm forum or in florida - they'll have more experience with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: fly-speck fungus

This post was edited by petrushka on Wed, Apr 30, 14 at 11:31

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 11:04AM
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