Scale Insect Control - Scale insect is difficult to spot, so look out for the symptoms of an attack i.e. sticky lower leaves, sooty mould and yellowing of top leaves. Underglass, scale is very particular to all types of citrus. Outside, keep a close watch on camelias, rhododendrons, azaleas and box. There are a number of different species of scale, although they are all similar in appearance. They are unlike any other pest as they don't look alive at all. Control scale insects by spraying with Scale Nematodes AS SOON as you see scale and the temp is 16C/61F OR use Soft Scale Parasites at higher temperatures later in the year.
N.B. Scale Nematodes are available NOW for use in heated greenhouses and conservatories.
Scale Insect - They are motionless and are stuck firmly to the stem and the underside of leaves (often around the veins) from which they suck the sap. They are dome shaped, about 0.6cm fully grown, light brown when young but gradually darken as they mature. They feed on the sap of the plant, leading to a yellowing of the leaves and in extreme cases total defoliation. Scale insects produce large quantities of honey dew which drips onto the lower leaves. Initially clear and sticky, it is then colonized by sooty mould (pictured left), which is unsightly and reduces the ability of the plant to produce food, leading to further weakness and loss of vigor. This mould and honeydew are the first signs of an attack. A female scale insect produces a mass of eggs i.e. between 500 and 2000! and then dies. The eggs are laid under the scale which protects them as they develop. The eggs hatch to produce a crawler stage which settles on a suitable part of the plant, starts to feed and becomes immobile. The length of the life cycle depends on temperature but at 20°c it normally takes 10 weeks from egg to adult.
Controlling Scale Insect - Control Scale Insect UNDERGLASS & OUTDOORS by spraying with Scale Nematodes OR use Soft Scale Parasites UNDERGLASS at higher temperatures :-
- Scale Nematodes - For use on plants UNDERGLASS & OUTDOORS when the temperature is 16C.
- Soft Scale Parasites - For heavy infestations and infestations on larger plants at higher temps (20C +) UNDERGLASS introduce Soft Scale Parasites. Available later in the year when temps rise.
Scale Nematodes - Control scale in your greenhouse or conservatory by spraying your plants with scale nematodes. Move potted outdoor plants inside before treating. Permanent outdoors plants should be treated when the temperature is above 14C. Spray with SB Invigorator if scale is present in large numbers or the temperature is below 14C. Once the temp is correct, spray infected plants with scale nematodes.
There are three steps to treating for scale :-
- Mix the nematodes with water and spray the infected plants, concentrating on the undersides of the leaves and stems.
- Keep the foliage moist for 12 hours. This can be achieved by damping down the leaves with a gentle soft water spray, being careful not to wash the nematodes off, or by covering the plant with polythene (put the plant in a bin bag if small enough) for 12 hours following treatment.
- The whole process is repeated 3 times at 21 day intervals. Our price includes 3 introductions sent by 1st class post at 21 day intervals.
N.B. Please note that once the scale insects are killed, they will remain on the plant, which will often lead people to believe that the control is not working. The first indication that the control is working is that honeydew will stop being produced so if the mould is washed off - SB Invigorator is very good at doing this - it will not come back. The scale itself can be removed by hand.
Soft Scale Parasites - Use this mixture of Soft Scale Parasites to control heavy infestations of soft scale and infestations on larger plants UNDERGLASS AS LONG as the temperature is 20c. There are different types of scale and soft scale is the most common. It is a real problem as it produces lots of honeydew, which forms a sticky mess on lower leaves on which a black as sooty mould then grows.m Available later in the year when temps rise.
Soft Scale Parasites - This mixture of 2 different parasites (Metaphycus and Encyrtus) is very effective at controlling heavy infestations and because they can fly, they are brilliant at controlling soft scale on larger plants. They both work in the same way - simply release them into the greenhouse / concervatory from the small bottle and the tiny midges will fly off into the plants and start to lay eggs inside the scale. Instead of the scale developing another parasite emerges to carry on killing more scale. The Metaphycus parasite prefers younger scale and the Encyrtus parasite prefers the older stages, so between them they are very good at controlling soft scale. Introduce in the summer ONLY when the temperatures are 20C/70F - they will continue working until temperatures fall in the autumn. Don’t worry, the parasites are harmless to you, your children, pets and other wildlife and are so small that once released you will not notice them working away
Soft Scale Parasites - Supplied in a bottle containing a mixture of 50 parasites suitable for a medium to large greenhouse.
SB Invigorator - Use SB Invigorator spray to control scale if the tempertaure is below 10C/50F and then spray with the nematodes. SB Invigorator should also use it for a pest emergency - been away or not noticed a rapid build up of scale - use SB Invigorator to get control BEFORE spraying with nematodes.
SB Invigorator - Controls scale and used regularly will reduce fungal diseases such as mildew PLUS it contains a foliar feed to help plants recover from pest attack. SB Invigorator is not only highly effective, but it is also biodegradable and non -toxic ,which means it can be used in the garden, conservatory or in the greenhouse and on edible plants too - pick and eat straightway. It is suitable for use throughout the year. SB Invigorator is brilliant at clearing heavy infestations BEFORE introducing a natural control - see our Emergency Pest Pack below.
SB Invigorator is available as a 500ml ready to use spray, as a 250ml concentrate (makes 25 litres of spray) or as a 1 litre super concentrate (makes 500 litres) for use in your own sprayer.
"The plant invigorator spray is working beautifully on the aphids in the back garden and it is a pleasure to be able to spray something effective ,but based only on plant oils." Jacob by email.