Live Oak Bug

bluechip0032(8)June 11, 2011

I saw hundreds of these bubbles all over my two Live Oaks. Look to me some kind of bug. Not sure what I can use to get rid of them.. Would love a natural remedy but this attack seems real severe and am ready to try anything... I have some Ortho Bug-B-Gon MAX Lawn & Garden Insect Killer. Do you think it would work.

Thanks in advance.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

This is one of the scale insects. When I think of scale on Live Oak, I automatically think of Kermes scale. I am not certain, but this looks like one of the Kermes species. There are other possibilities.

It's not the right time of year to use dormant OR summer oils on your plant, but please plan on reading up on oil applications for winter and spring. Horticultural oils continue to be the most helpful in controlling scale insects.

For now, you may want to call your local extension office regarding your bad infestation of what appears to be Kermes (or other soft scale) Scale and ask about the appropriate timing of pesticides.

The use of chemicals tend to disrupt the natural control cycle and even worse, may cause a reactive surge in other pest insect and mites. Also, the timing of such chemicals is extremely important! It is not those large adult scale that will be your target, but the newest hatchlings, called crawlers. Once the crawlers have developed their protective scale....forget it.

I'd also suggest that your Ortho product would not be helpful in controlling this pest, even if applied at the appropriate time. How large are these trees, anyway? YOU don't want to be applying anything overhead without the proper equipment.

There are many things that feed on or parasitize this type of scale in nature: birds, squirrels, and a host of parasitic wasps for example. Some of the oldest 'shells' may be from last year and are already empty and dead. (They tend to hang on and on.)

Kermes infestations don't do much damage. If these were my trees, and they looked pretty healthy over all, I'd wait until the fall/winter/spring seasons to begin some horticultural oil applications.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 4:43PM
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bluechip0032(8)

Thanks rhizo.. I dont know how to get to the get to the local extension office but I will take your advice and try and find it.
The trees are not that tall about 9-10 ft or so. They might by about 3-4ft wide. So if I have to I can get above them with a small ladder and treat them. The trees dont look that healthy. That is part of the reason why I took a closer look and saw this problem. So maybe I should start looking into doing something now than waiting for cooler weathers.
As for biological enemies for this guy.. we dont have any squirrels in our community. I dont know how much work the birds and wasps are doing? Maybe I need to do something to attract them.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 6:27PM
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IanW Zone 5 Ont. Can.

This recipe will kill your scales on your tree....
Mix 40 parts water with 8 parts rubbing alcohol and 1 part dish soap and spray (soaking) the scales with a hand pump sprayer. The alcohol will soften the waxy coating on the scale and allow the soap to enter and kill the scale.....wash off the scales with a blast of water from your hose about 3 hours later.....make sure you spray on a cloudy day......this treatment is very effective, but you may have to repeat it if you missed spraying some scales.

Ian

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 8:55PM
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