Summer Tree & Shrub Insect Infestations
Scale is one of the most interesting pest insects we see during our tree and shrub treatments and can oftentimes be mistaken for something other than an insect that is feeding off your tree. The reason for this is because as adults they actually lose their legs and form a protective shell around themselves that can oftentimes camouflage them and keep you from really being able to tell they are there.
The Scale species we see most often here in the Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus region is the one that attacks your magnolia trees. If you start to notice waxy bumps on your magnolia you may have a magnolia scale infestation. You can also tell there is an infestation of scale if you see a black colored sooty mold on any plants or leaves under the insects. This mold grows on the honeydew that the scale insect secretes and will clear up once the insects are dealt with.
In Ohio, the best time of year to treat this infestation is actually in the early spring before the young (called crawlers because they haven’t lost the use of their legs yet) have settled into a spot and created their shell. Once they mature and create their shell, they are very difficult to control, but our treatment of horticultural oils in the early spring is just what is needed to smother the crawlers and prevent the next generation from doing any more damage.
If you notice these weird pests on your plants as adults, give us a call and we can start a treatment plan for your trees and shrubs to get them taken care of in the spring.
Additional Reading: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/ENT-61