How to get rid of scale on plants is very easy as there are many steps that you can take to finish this infestation from your garden. Scale is a dangerous insect for your vegetation as it can ruin your crop in no time.
This is why leaving the insect in your garden for a long can be very damaging and it is of utmost importance that you get rid of these pests as soon as you possibly can. In this article, our team of gardeners walks you through the best ways of getting rid of scale insects from your garden which are budget friendly and effective.
- How To Get Rid of Scale on Plants?
- How To Prevent Scale on Plants in Gardens?
How To Get Rid of Scale on Plants?
You can get rid of scale on plants by first inspecting the plants, trying pressured water, trying pruning, using predatory insects, using horticulture oil, and lastly by using a bar of insecticidal soap, or burning and composting the plant with scale infestations.
– Inspect the Plant
You can get rid of scale insects in plants by simply inspecting the plants in a very thorough way. By inspecting we mean manually picking up and removing the scale insects from the plants and disposing of them.
When found in plants, these insects need to be removed as soon as possible because the longer they stay, the more they will grow in number and the harder it will get to remove them.
This technique will only work when the scale starts growing on the plants. If the scale has reached a very high level, you cannot use this technique as it will be impossible to remove the insects and their eggs to retrieve the plant back, so try to inspect them as soon as you can.
Because of how many types of scales there are, they can sometimes be mistaken for various algae or fungi. This is why it is very important first to diagnose the scale insects properly and then treat them and know how you should be handling them. There are two major types of scale insects, one with hard shells and the other with soft shells, but both can cause havoc for the plants and the plant owners.
While inspecting the plant, make sure to wear protective gloves and eye goggles. You should not touch the insect-infected plant with bare hands and eyes, because they may harm you as well, so try to be protected when dealing with them.
– Apply Pressured Water
Pressured water is a great way of getting rid of the dirt and clinging insects on the plants. The only instrument you would need here is the pressure water and a connection to the water tap or even a hose and a nozzle attached.
On the flip side, this technique has one major downside: washing the insects away will make them fall off in the soil nearby if you are doing it around the soil. Even if for some time they are removed from the plant, there is a high chance of them getting back up on the plant because they were not killed but rather only washed away.
Which is why this technique may work for those infected plants that are in a pot, and you can wash the plant somewhere the insects will only go down a drain and not other plants or the soil. What it shows you is that you must be careful where you are doing this.
– Try Pruning
Pruning is a process of breaking away or apart stems from a plant for usage. In this case, you can prune away the infected stems of the plant so that the rest of the plant may remain healthy and continue growing.
The infected stems can be used in composting or simply buried away to limit the spread of scale insects to any other plants. Pruning is naturally a growth enhancer, so even if you do it, remove the scale from the plants. As you do so, it will increase the plant’s growth, but you must ensure that you aren’t leaving your tools un-sterilized, from the beginning to eleven after you are done, don’t forget to do so.
– Use Predatory Insects
This might be one of the best methods for getting rid of scale insects mainly because of its effectiveness. Predatory insects are those beneficial insects that eat other smaller insects.
In this case, comparatively larger insects like ladybugs, parasitic wasps, lacewings, and soldier beetles are attracted to eating scale insects. You can get these insects from gardening stores at a very low price, and they would live on the plants and protect them from different harms such as this one.
These insects can be dropped on the plants, and they will find their way to the scale insects. The best benefit of using this technique is that the predatory insects do not disturb or destroy the plant itself. They just target the scale insects and move to the soil when the scale insects are all eaten up.
– Use Horticultural Oil
Horticultural oil, when applied to the surface of the plant, does not let any insect stay on the plant. The oil is so slippery that no insect can get a grip on the surface and is bound to fall down.
Secondly, the oil acts as an antibiotic, which is again beneficial to your plant in the long run. Any insect that tries to bite the plant and comes in contact with the oil is damaged if not killed, and so, this way the plant will stay safe from damage.
– Use an Insecticidal Soap
The last way of getting rid of scale insects on plants is the use of insecticidal soap. The infected plant should be washed thoroughly with soap.
This will remove and kill all the insects and wash away all the dirt and eggs. Moreover, this soap is a very cheap alternative to other expensive ways of getting rid of scale insects.
– Burn or Compost
The best way of getting rid of scale-infected plants or any other disease-infected plants is by composting or burning them. You can also choose to throw them away in the garbage but this might be damaging to the garbage men and their disposal area.
Composting is a way by which the scale-infected plants will be buried deep under the soil, causing the bacteria to break them down and make the soil feasible for future vegetation. Whereas burning the plant will also be a way to go if you want to completely get rid of it. This, however will not be environment friendly.
How To Prevent Scale on Plants in Gardens?
You can prevent scale insects on plants by keeping the plants’ hygiene in check and by regularly checking up on the plants for any insect developments. Moreover, you should also leave space between one plant and the other to prevent the spread.
Most insect infections can be prevented if you start working on the techniques from the start. Insects infect only those plants where they will find the most optimal conditions for their growth, so the number one priority here is not to let the plants develop such conditions.
– Be Very Hygienic
Hygiene is very important when it comes to keeping the plant-insect and bug-free. Start by washing the plants every week, and make sure that you would inspect if there are any pests around them.
This is feasible for plants that do not mind their time in the water. Alternatively, you can use a damp cloth to clean the dirt and any organism off the plant. Make sure to invest in a good and non-toxic insecticide so that you may use it regularly without damaging the contents of the plant and its fruit.
– Regular Checkups
Regular checkups and inspections of the plants are also very important to keep the insects away. Inspecting and treating any unwanted insect beforehand is better than treating the largely infected plant afterward.
Do not forget to wear protective layers of clothing before checkups. If you need help performing thorough checkups yourself, try to get a professional gardener to help you. This way, you will tackle them, in any way if they have increased in their number and if any action should be taken.
– Leaving Some Space When Planting
Scale insects can transfer within plants in a garden with ease. When the scale insects have fed on a plant and depleted its sources, they move to the nearby new plants in search of fresh food and reproduce.
This is the reason why it is of utmost importance that you try to get rid of the scale insects well before they deplete the first plant and move to another in search of resources. Unless the other plants are very far apart, there is a pretty high chance that they will catch scale insects and be depleted in no time.
Moreover, you should also be very keen on picking the plant that you would cultivate, and this is because the plants that are most susceptible to scale insects are the woody plants which include fruit trees, conifers, shade trees, and evergreen shrubs. These trees are the top targets of scale insects because of their woody texture, which is very attractive to the insects.
In this article, we talked about how you can get rid of scale in plants and how you can prevent it from happening, but in case you missed any detail, here is a short review of all the important points in the article:
- You can get rid of scale on plants by inspecting the plants, trying pressured water, pruning, predatory insects, horticulture oil, and insecticidal soap.
- You can prevent scale insects on plants by keeping the plants’ hygiene in check and by regularly checking up on the plants for any insect developments.
- Horticulture oil when applied to the surface of the plant does not let any insect stay on the plant because of its slippery nature.
- The insects grow best in humid and wet weather environments so avoid overwatering.
We hope that this article was an informative one and now you can positively get rid of the scale insects for healthier plants.
- Growing Brussel Sprouts in Containers – 7 Crucial Steps - May 30, 2023
- How to Care for Carnivorous Plants: Provide The Right Needs - May 26, 2023
- How Long Do Hibiscus Flowers Last: Ways To Elongate - May 24, 2023