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There are two main groups of scale insects, both
of which spend most of their lives as immobile adults
under a coating, sucking the sap from stalks, leaves
and stems. Hard scale (for example red citrus scale)
has an oyster like coating and is difficult to control.
Soft scale (for example pink wax scale and soft
brown scale) are usually found on the mid-rib of
leaves and stalks of host plants. Most common is
white wax scale, seen as large patches of white
waxy material along the stems and shoots. The wax
covers the insects which feed on the sap. The adult
scale lays up to 1000 eggs that hatch into crawlers.
These crawlers move to a nearby feeding site where
they set up home feeding on the sap of the plant.
It is at this crawler stage the scale is most vulnerable
as there is no waxy coating to protect them. Spraying
with Yates Pest Oil at this stage will give good
results. There are many different types of scale
and some scale insects are host specific, such as
rose scale, white palm scale, gum tree scale and
tea scale (camellias.) Others attack a variety of
hosts such as white wax scale occuring on gardenias
and citrus; and cottony cushion scale occuring on
figs, rose, magnolias, grevilleas and citrus.
White patches on stems or pink or brown raised dome
like structures on leaves and stalks about 3-5mm.
Sooty mould grows on the honeydew the scale insects
secrete. Scale can cause death of stems if infestation