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Oleander Scale Insect



P_olnderscle

Oleander Scale Insect

Usually appear in

Spring to Autumn.


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Caused By:-     The Scale insect Aspidiotus nerii

Description

There are hundreds of scale insects. Some are specific to certain plants and others are host unspecific.
Scale insect is a nasty little sap sucking insect, that like barnacles on a hull, latch onto your plant and suck the sap and weaken the plant.
They particularly like to hide on the underside of the leaves or stems especially near a central vein where the sap flows freely.
The adult Oleander scale(Aspidiotus nerii), which also attacks other plants and trees, is an armoured scale that is about 0.1 inch (2.5 mm) long and oval. It has a waxy brown covering that has a light brown spot near the center.
There are several generations a year. After laying their eggs females die leaving a scale covering which protects the eggs over the winter.
Heavy infestations seriously weaken the plant.
The main families of scale insects are:- Asterolecaniidae(pit scales), Coccidae(soft scales), Dactylopiidae(cochineal), Diaspididae(armored scales), Eriococcidae(felted scales), Kerriidae(lac scales), Margarodidae(cottony cushion scales, giant coccids and ground pearls), Pseudococcidae(mealybugs).
Picture from Wikimedia Commons.
See these other Scale insects Azalea Bark, Azalea Cottony, Beech Bark, Brown, Eucalyptus Gumtree, Euonymus Mussel, Hemispherical, Horse Chestnut, Hydrangea, Juniper, Mussel, San Jose, Scale, Soft, Viburnum Cushion, Wisteria, Wooly Vine.


Control

Scraping off the scales if there are a few will control the infestation, but one scale may contain hundreds of eggs.
Spraying is difficult as the scales protect the eggs and young.
One report I have read(http://janets-garden.blogspot.com/2006/05/oleander-and-full-scale-battle.html) is that the yellow Listerine mouthwash kills the scale.
There are pesticides that will work, although not very many.
Oleander scale can be effectively controlled by natural enemies, like species of Aphytis, including A. melinus which are important parasites of oleander scale.
This pest does not usually cause severe damage and preserving the natural enemies by selecting insecticides for other pests that do not kill beneficial insects is always a good consideration.



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