Is this scale?

Use this forum to discuss matters relating to xeric Bromeliads such as Hechtia, Dyckia, Puya, Tillandsia and related species. This is where one posts unknown plant photos for ID help.

Is this scale?

Post Number:#1  Postby Azuleja » Wed May 10, 2017 10:54 am

I got a few new dyckia, mostly just open pollinated plants that I won't feel bad about planting in the ground and experimenting with. During potting, I found a bunch of eggs or scales on the undersides of the leaves.

I removed all of them with alcohol and q-tips. I did this several times until I couldn't find anymore. They were very loosely attached and placed about sporadically. There was nothing underneath when removed. No honeydew or fluff that I could see. There is no evidence of damage to the plants or any other crawling creatures that I can see. Coloration is light golden brown to darker reddish brown. There isn't a lot of squish to them, but a small bit of moisture inside.

I quarantined these plants immediately. They are far, far away. I read everything I could about soft scale, armored scale and every kind of insect egg I could think of. Nothing I saw seemed like an exact match. I also read talk of harmless "fly poop" and "spider eggs" sometimes found on bromeliads.

Any thoughts on what this really is, and if it's scale, which type or species?
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Re: Is this scale?

Post Number:#2  Postby Spination » Wed May 10, 2017 11:53 am

On balance, weighing one possibility against another (sorry, couldn't resist scale puns)....

There are references on the net of scale on Dyckia - here is one such
http://www.bsi.org/webpages/sembs/Newsl ... ov+Dec.pdf (article at the end)

Looks to be one of the easier pests to deal with, in terms of recommendations using some of the less harsh insecticidal remedies
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Re: Is this scale?

Post Number:#3  Postby Azuleja » Wed May 10, 2017 12:34 pm

Thank you for the encouraging info. There are many species of scale and none of them really look like what I found.

I've pretty much ruled out any of the armored scales, which is good because they're more difficult to treat. It could possibly be a soft scale so I'm treating it as such.
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Re: Is this scale?

Post Number:#4  Postby Spination » Wed May 10, 2017 12:43 pm

Many is right... when I had googled "scale species", the number given was some 8,000 described species... wow, and yikes!
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Re: Is this scale?

Post Number:#5  Postby Gee.S » Thu May 11, 2017 12:52 pm

Might be a bit harsh for some, but I'd bet a shot or two of Avid would knock 'em out.
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Re: Is this scale?

Post Number:#6  Postby Azuleja » Thu May 11, 2017 3:29 pm

According to UC Ag & Natural Resources, imidacloprid kills most soft scale so I sprayed them with that after I cleaned them. I do have abamectin. I'm just not sure how to tell if it worked since I already removed the adult females. Presumably, they had overwintered with eggs hidden under their shells. I believe if they had already released their crawlers, the females would have been empty husks and I'd see the crawlers. The males are winged and "rarely seen."
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