Make sure that the leaves and stems of your plant are completely dry and that the outer stems of the plant are not actively growing before you apply horticultural oil. How to Get Rid of Sticky Film From Plants Indoors, University of Missouri: Aphids, Scales and Mites on Home Garden and Landscape Plants, How to Spray to Get Rid of the Cabbage White Butterfly. Examine the undersides of your plant's foliage once every two weeks to catch growing scale populations before they can damage your plants. Adult females are almost always immobile (apart from mealybugs) and permanently attached to the plant on which they are feeding. Horticultural oil is best used in dry weather when the temperature is above freezing and below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Upon first sighting, scale insects are often mistaken for scabs or bumps on a plant's tissue. Scale sounds and looks a lot like a plant disease, but the term actually refers to infestation by any one of more than 7,000 species of tiny sap-sucking insects.Scale insects typically adhere to the stems, branches, and sometimes the leaves of plants to feed on sap, and they have a shell-like bump appearance, which sometimes causes them to be mistaken for a fungal or bacterial disease. The scale insects infest both the leaves and the stems of the host plants, and feed by inserting needle-like mouthparts into the plant tissue and sucking out plant sap. Scales appear like growth on plant leaves and stems more than they resemble insects. Scale bugs attack a variety of plant life, and different species target different types of plants. Scale range in size from one to five millimeters and, in certain life stages, can be difficult to see without magnification. Heavily infested plants should be discarded. Getting rid of scale on plants can be tough, but it’s not a death sentence for your houseplants! Usually larger than armored scales 3. Other plants succumb before you can even notice the problem. The sticky residue on the leaves and floor is what they secrete and is referred to as sticky honeydew. Your name to display (optional): Make the pruning cut about 1/4-inch above a leaf or at the base of the branch. This may explain why scale is attracted to struggling plants. Infested plants should be quarantined. Scale Treatments Produce a sugary liquid called honeydew 2. Scale (or armored scale) describes a common family of insects that feed on various shrubs and trees. They are usually reddish-brown in color, although young scale can appear pink, and like to hang out on the backs of leaves and along the stem. Ants are often present as well – they feed on the sugary honeydew waste droplets. Affected plants can suffer a lack of vigour and leaf loss caused by the insect sucking sap from the foliage and stems. Whitish or yellowish patches on leaves, stems, or branches is a common sign. Scale insects can be divided into two groups:Armored (Hard) – Secrete a hard protective covering (1/8 inch long) over themselves, which is not attached to the body. Try to determine possible sources of your plant’s stress and correct them. There are many different varieties of scale insect that attack ornamental plants, and all of them are immobile during their adulthood. Daniel Thompson began writing about analytical literature in 2004. White Scale. Scale-damaged plants look withered and sickly. ANSWER: This is a scale insect infestation, likely oleander scale. Hard scale does not leave this excretion. Some scale species, when abundant, weaken a plant and cause it to grow slowly. In severe infestations, the foliage becomes covered by a sooty black mould. Why do scale insects appear on plants? Don’t have a shell, instead they secrete a cotton-like or waxy substance over their bodies for protection 5. Infested plants appear water stressed, leaves turn yellow and may drop prematurely, and plant parts that remain heavily infested may die. You can effectively treat scales infesting your plants using horticultural oil. The scale bodies may be scraped off and treated as for other scale on indoor plants. It worked for me. Too often people only look at the top leaves. Male soft scale appears grayish to white and can look similar to mealybugs. The adult forms can be attached to leaves, petioles, and stems. Inappropriate plant for your climate or local soil conditions.Overuse of fertilizer which encourages excessive leafy growth.Drastic pruning which stimulates growth of succulent suckers.Use of pesticides against other pests which also kills off natural predators.Transplant shock which lasts for a few days up to a week. Scale are tiny insects that feed on the juices of house plants. Do not apply horticultural oil to plants that are wilted from dehydration. If inside plants are infested, you may be looking for a way to control scale insects on indoor plants.