Suspected Scale Infection, Need Advice Please
Hi, I have a Schefflera and a Gardenia plant that appear to have gotten infested with Scales, I have provided a picture to confirm this since I am a new gardener and I have never dealt with any pests before.
It appears the Gardenia is in a early state of infection (it was brushed against the Schefflera where it was sitting) and the Schefflera seems to be highly infested on several leafs, however it appears it is isolated to the lower leaves on the plant. some leaves have fallen off while new leafs all have black scars on the bottom however they dont appear to have been infested yet so I suspect those scars are caused by the plant being in distress. Also new sprouting leaves get to be about a centimeter in diameter then turn black and fall off.
I have read on several sites that the best way to get rid of scales is to throw the plant away but I would prefer to fight the infection since the Schefflera is from my Aunts funeral and thus it is important to me. I have moved both infected plants to spots were they are no longer touching any other plants to prevent the spreading to more plants.
What would be the best way to fight these? What should I buy? I have also read about bugs that can be released on the plant to eat the scales, has anyone used those before and if they work good where is the cheapest place to get them? I'm on a college student budget
Thanks for reading!