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Scale Insect Control in Your Garden

Hemiptera : Coccoidea

There are hundreds of species of insects across several families of the superfamily Coccoidea that are known as Scale Insects. They are all sap-sucking insects. The most common types that occur in home gardens are several species of Hard Scales in the family Diaspididae, and several species of Soft Scales of the family Coccidae. Cottony Cushion Scale (Icerya purchasi) of the family Monophlebidae, and Gumtree Scale (Eriococcus coriaceus) of the family Eriococcidae are also quite common.

Hard Scales produce a separate waxy cover under which the insect feeds, but do not produce honeydew. Soft Scales and Cottony Cushion Scales don’t have a separate covering like hard scales, but the upper surface of their bodies is toughened with protective mealy secretions. Soft Scales and Cottony Cushion Scales also produce vast amounts of honeydew. Gumtree Scales are a bit different in that females encase themselves in a globular sac, and they too produce honeydew.

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Image above: Cottony Cushion Scale (Icerya purchasi) on citrus

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