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Scale Insects are normally divided into two groups, Soft Scales and Armoured Scales. Soft Scales have the outer scale attached to their body and are often oval to flat shaped. Armoured scales do not have their waxy scale attached to their body and are often more round in shape. Both groups of Scale Insects are found on ornamental plants, house plants, trees and shrubs.
Soft Scale extract sap from plants and excrete their waste as honeydew on plants, making them sticky. Armoured Scales also feed on plants but tend not to leave waste, they will weaken plants and areas they feed on will often turn yellow or brown. Scale Insects will appear on plant stems and on leaves.
The first step once Scale Insects are observed is to try and remove them, or clean them off plants. Cut out infested leaves or stems if possible. If this is not practical try treating them with a non-toxic substance such as SB Plant Invigorator, which does not leave harmful residues to beneficial insects. Biological control of Scale Insects in the U.K. is quite challenging as there are few native beneficial insects that can be accessed and applied to control them. This is an area Dragonfli are actively researching.