Get Rid of Scales

Scales range from tan to brown and 1/16 to 1/4 inch in diameter. One type, called soft scale, excretes a messy, sticky liquid called honey dew. Scale insects attach themselves to stems and underside of leaves to feed on plant sap, causing stunted and deformed plants.

Here's how to control scales:
  • Spray scales at their immature "crawler" stage with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil weekly.
  • Dab adult scales with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol, or wipe them off with a damp cloth. Adults have a waxy covering that makes contact insecticides ineffective.
  • Discard havily infected plants so scale won't spread to other plants or move them from the healthy plants.
  • When you buy new plants keep them away until you're sure they're not carrying insects or diseases.

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