Brown Soft Scale

Pest: Brown soft scale (Coccus hesperidum)

Pest Type: Insect Pest

Coccus_hesperidum01

Major Identifying Features: Scale insects feed by sucking plant juices and some inject toxic salvia into plants, scales look different than other insects, females are circular to oval, wingless, and lack separate head or other recognizable body parts, are yellow to dark brown, males are tiny, delicate, white to yellow with one pair of wings and antennae, females can reproduce without mating

Life Cycle: Complete metamorphosis, 4 stages (egg, larva, pupa, adult), eggs are produced beneath the body or cover of the female, nymphs walk along branches or spread with the wind, nymphs are yellow to orange and the size of a period, once they start feeding, they remain immobile for the rest of their lives, 3-5 generations per year, populations are highest from midsummer to early fall

Pest Rating: Minor to moderate

Management Rating: Easy to moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Warm temperatures usually favour scale outbreaks and honeydew protecting ants are around, found on broadleaf evergreens, aspen, cottonwood, fruit trees, holly, manzanita, palm, poplar, strawberry tree, willow

Damage Information: When numerous, some species can weaken a plant and cause it to grow slowly, infested plants appear water-stressed, leaves can turn yellow, and may drop prematurely, plants infested by soft scales and certain other species become sticky from honeydew and may blacken due to sooty mold growth, this species causes serious damage to landscapes

Management Options: Prevention and monitoring with sticky traps, controlling dust, cultural control with appropriate plant selection, biological control with predatory bugs, beetles, and lacewings (Chilocorus, Hyperaspis, Rhyzobius), parasitic wasps, chemical applications with horticultural oils in spring or summer

Sources:

Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs (Book)

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