CLOSED: Now What?

San Diego, CA(Zone 10a)

Just when you think that you know all of the nasties in your garden, something new crops up. What are these uglies? They are on the stem of my white gaura. They are accompanies by a lot of ants but I am uncertain if the ants are tending them. I squooshed them all over my hands while I was cutting back this plant. EEEwwwwww.

Thumbnail by frogsrus
San Diego, CA(Zone 10a)

Another Pic. You can bet these cuttings went into the trash rather than the compost.

Thumbnail by frogsrus
Northern California, CA

Hiya Janice!

Is it scale?
http://www.ext.vt.edu/departments/entomology/ornamentals/scaleinsects.html

San Diego, CA(Zone 10a)

I have never had this before. Dumb luck probably. Ugly stuff. What is the best way to kill it?

Thanks Candy! It has been a buggy year for sure. You would think in all my years in the garden and having houseplants, I would have had these before. Not complaining mind you.

Northern California, CA

I had it a couple of years ago on a white potatoe vine and I had also never encountered it before. It was a cooler than normal summer and seemed to be a result of the stems not being as dry as normal. I noticed it only because of the army of ants all over the stems. It was so infested that I just cut both vines to the ground (disposing of all the cuttings in the waste bins), sprayed with a general insect solution and it seemed to solve the issue.

I guess I would check nearby shrubbery for additional signs and if more is found, combine some severe pruning with a followup spray and watch it closely.

San Diego, CA(Zone 10a)

I already cut the gaura almost to the ground. The fact that butterfly (brug) has overpowered most of that area is probably a contributing factor. That guara has never been shaded before. I will spray when it cools a bit and look at the other plants. Butterfly will get her haircut as soon as this flush is over.

I usually get leafhoppers from the ants, not this. As much as the leaf hoppers are annoying, they are more attractive than this. These things are right up there with slugs!

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

the only way to kill scale is with a light oil, neem oil, even pam spray works. since you are cutting your plants back, it is possible to get rid of it, but i wouldn't count on it for sure. debi

San Diego, CA(Zone 10a)

Hmmmmmm Might just be worth having to pay $3 for a new plant to be sure to get rid of this. Upon investigation, my neighbor has a tree that is infested. Now I hate this tree. It is at the property line and is way messy. The, however pay no attentio to it. Is there a systemic or something I can give it? There is no way to spray the thing. I could climb on the roof with 5 gal of oil I guess Lol.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

a systemic works on some scale, i have had varied luck when the scale is soft scale or in the crawler stage... with the hard shell scale such as yours, you almost always have to use a light oil or voek oil. this suffocates the little nasties. good luck. wanted to add, some scale is exclusive to certain plants, other scale will infest just about anything. the ants need to be controlled as they are tending them. if it starts turning up on alot of plants in your garden you may want to call your extension agent and have them make a positive id. then you would know more what you are dealing with and how to control it. good luck. debi

This message was edited Oct 15, 2005 6:04 PM

South Florida, FL(Zone 10b)

i have had good luck with the Bayer systemic that you pour on the soil. I got rid of one of the most difficult scales to get rid of, the lobate lac scale. It had infested my Hibiscus, my Wax Myrtle, my Wild Coffee and a whole other plants. Although, I do not use chemicals in my yard this time I had to do something. It lasts for a whole year and so far (it's been 7 months) I've seen no signs of them. You could give it a try. It is expensive, but it's worth the expense when you risk losing many plants.

San Diego, CA(Zone 10a)

Thanks. It cannot be more expensive than losing the garden to this beastie.

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