Is this Scale on my Holly shrub? Picture

christagayleMay 14, 2009

Can someone tell me what this is & what to do to get rid of it? It's all over the leaves & stems of my 5 Holly shrubs. When I was taking the pic I noticed a tiny red spider-like bug crawling on one of the leaves. There's also a small web. We've been trying to get rid of this infestation for the past 3 weeks. We've used Bayer Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed around each shrub, & have been spraying with fungicide 3 in 1 spray. The shrub now has some new growth, but the white bumps are still there.

Any suggestions for successfully getting rid of this, or should I just dig them up & replace? Thank you in advance for any advice!

I tried to get a close up but it's a little blurry.

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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

Yes this is scale and the little red things w/web are spider mites. The mites can be controlled with strong blasts of water making sure to get the underside of the leaves and stems. The scale can be controlled using a horticultural oil which can be purchased at stores with a garden center.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 10:10PM
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christagayle

Thank you for replying....I haven't tried the horticultural oil yet. Will the oil get rid of it completely, or will I have to continue to treat? The scale seem to be hardened which I've read can be a hard stage to rid them. What do you think?

Does anyone know what causes this? The shrubs were planted about 2 years ago, but we just started noticing the scale in the last few months. It looks so gross!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 11:17PM
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maifleur01

You may need to scrape each of the hard scales off.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 12:09AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Scales are insects with a soft or armored covering that helps protect them from predators and insecticides,and they are cousins of mealybugs and bear a close resmblence except mealybugs move around more than scale does. Early in the life of scale Insecticidal Soaps can be effective, but later horticultural oils are necesary to smother the wee buggers. However horicultural oils can be more harmful to the plants they are used on then the scale if due care is not used. There are two types of horticultural oils Dormant, which are meant to be used when plants are dormant, and Superior, which can be used on growing plants very carefully. These need to hit the target insect and not the plants leaves since they can do serious harm to those leaves.
Systemic insecticides are being found, now, to be harmful to our pollinators something that was not looked at before since Bees were not a target of these products.

Here is a link that might be useful: Insect scale

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 8:24AM
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christagayle

Thanks so much for the replies. Yesterday I used the water hose to blast off a lot of the scale. Now I'm scraping the rest off by hand. If I remove it, will I still need the horticultural oil?

So....once I take it all off, what's the best way to ensure that it doesn't come back? Will I need to replace the mulch or do something to the soil? I checked out the other plants around the Holly shrubs, & nothing else seems to have the scale. We want to plant in that bed but want to make sure that the scale is gone first. I've read on here that it's really hard to get rid of. A few weeks ago we used the Bayer Tree & Shrub Systemic Insecticide - has anyone had success with that stuff?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 1:35PM
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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

This level of infestation did not happen over night. Your new plants may have come with some but at any rate you will have to stay vigilant and do your thing at the first signs of infestation. Use the dominant oil which is the safest and very effective.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 3:29PM
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maifleur01

A caution on systemic insecticide's. They can kill any insect that sips the nectar or uses the pollen. Some insects are healthy enough to fight off the effects. Do not use on any plant where you want butterflies or bees.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 8:21PM
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