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Thread: Scales on leafy tree

  1. #1
    Ive got Crabs! NaRnAr's Avatar
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    Scales on leafy tree

    So i bought this little tree (its a bonsai) from a garden place about a month or so ago...and I was messing with the wiring on the branches and noticed some of the leaves have these brown crusty scales on some of the leaves anda few of the smaller branches.

    So I filled my sink with warm water and Dawn soap and grabed a load of Q-tips and proceeded to scrub all of the leaves and the rest of the tree. Then when it dried I took my fingernail and scraped off any scales that I could see that were left on the tree.

    Is there anything I can do to help this little tree. (I also have a Ficus tree that is about 4 feet tall at my work that has the same thing)

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Scale is hard to wipe out..(they are little sap-sucking bugs, with a hard shell)
    I have actually thrown out plants, after years of unsuccessfully fighting scale..

    but I recently found something that actually wiped it out!
    a liquid bug spray called "sevin"..

    scrape all the "adult" bugs/scales off, like you did..but there will still be larva remaining, which are very small and hard to see..take the plant outside and drench it with the bug spray..

    repeat one week later, then two weeks later..
    that should do it!

    if it comes back (which it likely will) just try again..
    after doing this for a few years, you might actually beat the scale and wipe it out permanently! it CAN be done..just be persistent.

    scale also spreads easily..so dont put infected plants close to uninfected plants..
    scale "make the leap" even if plants are a foot or two apart..
    its best to totally quarentine plants infested with scale.

    If its a really big plant, like a large ficus at work, its probably not worth it..
    you will need gallons of bug spray to wipe it all out, and multiple attempts..and your odds of success, on a large scale scale infestation, are slim..
    I would let the plant die, (withhold water) then burn it..

    seriously..

    scale is a menace..one of the hardest house plant bugs to wipe out.
    I wouldnt even bother unless its a small plant.

    Scot

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    Ive got Crabs! NaRnAr's Avatar
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    Bugger.

    I will probably just get rid of it then...not sure where i can quarentine the little one. I have been keeping it from the others, although not far enough with the distance you mentioned. I hope it didnt get all over the other plants. Ill just have to keep a look out I suppose. Id try the spray thing but I dont have a yard or anywhere to do it...guess I will have to think about it...its such a cute little tree.

    Is there anyway I can reuse the ceramic pot its in? Or should I toss that as well? Where am I suppose to burn it?

    *trying to think where I could put it*

    So a large plant like the ficus tree would be a sad attempt at saving it? It would be a lot of spray....alrighty. Just let it die...can I toss it into the dumpster in the alley for the trash after its dead?



    I just hate throwing plants away! Stupid scale bug!

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    Ive got Crabs! NaRnAr's Avatar
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    Well I was talking to my mom about the Sevin (shes knows more about plants than I do so I thought I would chat with her too) and she said its pretty fierce and that it kills pretty much anything in way of bugs...

    ...that in mind, I think Im going to just throw my little tree out as I dont want to risk having the Sevin residue on my fingers and transfer it to my hermit crabs somehow and make them sick/kill them (since they are related to insects).

    Thanks for you help Scotty!

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    Got Drosera? Indiana Gardener's Avatar
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    It's been a long time since I've been here. I finally found my way back and got a new password, forgot the old one. LOL

    Anyway, I know it's probably too late for your tree, but there's really no need to give up on a plant that has scale. I certainly wouldn't have tossed my nice wisteria bonsai with a 2.5" cal. this summer when it got scale. Neem oil will take care of them with no problem. Some plants like chinese elm of course don't like any kind of oil, so keep that in mind.

    I've kept bonsai for the past 12 yrs and neem oil will beat about anything, insect, fungus, etc. Pests come around, it's part of keeping plants. You should wash before and after handling pets anyway. If you're concerned about a residue that won't wash off, wear some disposable rubber gloves while applying the pesticide or touching the plant thereafter.

    If it makes you feel better, I've applied neem to the trees and worked in my guppy tanks after washing later the same day. No problems.

    Neem oil doesn't actually kill bugs, it just makes the plant taste bad and it's systemic. When using, be sure to spray the undersides of the leaves too. Also a good idea to water the plant with some too since it is systemic.

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