Term applies to small insect of the order Hemiptera, suborder Sternorrhyncha. There are currently around 8000 known species of scale insects.

Scale are small sap-sucking insects. Many look like the scale of a fish or lizard, while others are fluffy. The scale insects that most gardeners are familiar with are the adult females.

Adult females typically have soft bodies and no limbs, and are concealed underneath domed scales, extruding quantities of wax for protection. Males, in the species where they occur, have legs and sometimes wings, and resemble small flies. They are difficult to control as the scale and waxy covering protect them effectively from contact insecticides. However scale can be controlled by using oil based sprays that suffocate them, systemic insecticides that poison the sap of the host plants can also be used.

As Scale feed on the plant they excrete a stick sweet substance called honey dew, which attracts ants. Black Sooty Mold grows on this honey dew reducing the plants vigor and health.


Healthy plants are less likely to suffer from insects like scale. Feed plants regularly and ensure that they are getting adequate water.

Early intervention is important in controlling infestations. If you have ants crawling about your plants then you are most likely to have scale or another sucking pest.

Natural Treatment

Spray with Bugtrol ensuring that you get under the leaves as well as on top. Repeated applications may be needed.

If possible spray in the evening to reduce harm to the beneficial insects in your garden.


Other Treatment

On Ornamental (non edible) plants spray plants thoroughly (until they start dripping) with Groventive Garden combined with Enspray99 Oil.

Don’t use oil-based sprays on ferns or fine-leafed palms. For these plants use Groventive by itself.

When using sprays and chemicals always read the label and follow instructions carefully. Spray in the evening to avoid harming beneficial insects.


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