Cochineal Scale

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Cochineal Scale


Post by Gee.S »

Prickly pear (Opuntia species) and cholla cacti (Cylindropuntia species), are attacked by cochineal scale. The insect covers itself with a waxy coat that makes it appear as white cotton tufts attached to the pads and stems of the cacti. To positively identify cochineal scale, crush the waxy coat with a pencil eraser. If the result is a deep red material-actually the body fluid of the insect then it is cochineal scale. Cochineal scale is used by native peoples as a source of red dye and also as a natural food coloring in processed foods, and can usually be controlled by using a strong stream of water to wash the insects from the plants. If the infestation is heavy or the insects return, an application of insecticidal soap may be needed.

See the Mealybug thread if you're dealing with a serious outdoor infestation.
Cochineal Scale damage
Cochineal Scale damage
coch.jpg (50.8 KiB) Viewed 4169 times
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

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Re: Cochineal Scale


Post by bigdaddyscondition »

How do you differentiate between a cochineal scale infestation and one with mealy bugs? Is there any difference in how you treat infested plants?
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Re: Cochineal Scale


Post by Azuleja »

Cochineal scale is red inside when you squish it.
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