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Any ways to control scale?

Posted by HelloPandaNF none (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 24, 12 at 15:04

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!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Any ways to control scale?

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

RE: Any ways to control scale?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 24, 12 at 17:19

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.


RE: Any ways to control scale?

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!

RE: Any ways to control scale?

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.

RE: Any ways to control scale?

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!

RE: Any ways to control scale?


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

RE: Any ways to control scale?

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.

RE: Any ways to control scale?

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.


RE: Any ways to control scale?

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.

RE: Any ways to control scale?


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


RE: Any ways to control scale?

  • Posted by babyg U10 S20/21 (MtnTop L (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 23:24

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!

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