Black Scale is an important pest of citrus and olive trees. It is found in California, Florida, and other Gulf states. They are tiny, black or dark brown in color and can be difficult to identify.
Scale are small parasitic insects that attach to the leaves and branches of plants, sucking juices and vital sugars from the plant. If an infestation is severe, black scale can cause their host plant – including trees – to die. They also excrete honeydew that can cause the growth of a fungus known as sooty mold. This fungus interferes with photosynthesis and gives the plant an unappealing appearance.
Scale are present year round and generally overwinter as eggs or as mated females. Because of this pattern, spraying plants with horticultural oils when the winter and early spring temperatures fall between 50° and 90° F is an excellent method for achieving control. Horticultural oil will smother the eggs.
Control products are listed below. For more information about these pests please see our Scale Control page.