There are various different types of scale insects that attack plants in Southern Maryland. We take a look at the different types and how to get rid of them.

Most homes have ornamental plants, which not only make properties look more attractive, but can also help the local ecosystem.

But with plants comes the worry of pests, such as scale insects.

If you’re worried about scale insects in Southern Maryland, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss these pests, including how to recognize them and get rid of them.

What Is the Threat?

Scale insects are a type of small bug that can destroy your plants. There are around 6,000 species in the world and you can find 1,000 of them in North America.

There are 2 types of scale insects: hard (or armored) and soft (or bark). Armored scales are round in shape while soft scales are convex (they look like helmets).

Both will feed on your plants with their tube-like mouth. While an infestation alone won’t kill your greenery, a heavy enough one can damage your plants so badly that they’re way more susceptible to pathogens, which can kill them.

Where Is the Threat?

You’ll find scale insects both indoors and outdoors, although they’re less commonly found indoors. However, it’s still very possible you’ll get scale infestations on your indoor plants.

Outside, you’ll usually see scale insects on ornamental trees and shrubs.

Symptoms of Scale Insects

The symptoms to look out for will depend on whether you’re dealing with soft or hard scales.

If you have soft scales, you’ll find honeydew, which is a clear and sticky fluid they produce. This encourages the growth of sooty mold fungi, so your plants may have a black coating on them. There might also be a lot of ants around, since they feed on honeydew.

You might also notice leaf yellowing and premature leaf drop. In addition, your plants might have stunted growth.

What to Do About the Problem

If you’ve got scale insects on your indoor plants, it’s possible to pick them off by hand. You don’t have to use your bare hands; you can dip a cotton ball or Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and then rub it over the bugs.

You’ll want to quarantine any infected plants so the scale infestation doesn’t spread to your healthy plants. If any are too heavily infested, you might want to throw them away.

For bigger infestations and/or outside ones, you can prune the leaves and stems. While insecticides/pesticides can be used on scale insects, it’s best to leave this to the professionals since not only can they apply the correct chemicals, but they can also prune your trees and shrubs correctly so they stay healthy and strong.

Book Tree Services Now

Now you know what scale insects are, plus what the symptoms of these pests are. If you recognize any sort of insect infestation in Southern Maryland, it’s best to book tree services ASAP. That way, these experts can help keep your greenery safe.

If you need help with scale insects, make an appointment with us now.