pesticide use on fig tree
My neighbor has a fig tree that appears to be struggling, and I told him I'd research a bit. Please don't flame me for my lack of knowledge!! The tree has new growth (little buds at the ends of the branches), and NO leaves at all. It is about 7-8 feet tall, and he says it has bever borne fruit. It's 4 yrs. old. I see some of what appears to be a trpe of scale on the branches. Can he spray this w/ a chemical such as malathion now to jumpstart the pest control, or shoould he stick w/ a dormant oil? I did tell him no pruning 'till frost danger is past. Can he also use citrus food at that time?
We live in central Florida. Today it's about 76 degrees and sunny, but we normally get at least one freeze each winter. Specific cultivar is unknown.
Many thanks for your advice!