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Shield lice (Coccoidea) are sucking insects that grow up to 5 mm. The females carry a sign that may be white to brown and round or oblong depending on the species. Under this sign are the eggs. Scale insects go through several larval stages. In the first stage, they are mobile, later, the females are immobile while the males remain motile and can fly.
Scale insects are among the pests that can multiply explosively and are very difficult to combat. They prefer hard-leaved plants such as orchids, oleanders and lemon trees. The animals sit both on the trunks as well as on the Blattober- and Blattunterseiten along the leaf veins.
Scale insects damage the plants mainly by sucking sap from leaf veins. For this purpose, the females have a sting through which they suck on the one hand the sap, on the other hand release a secretion and fructose. The secretion damages the plant additionally. The suction point is an ideal entry point for mushrooms, for which the fructose is a nutrient medium. Ants are also attracted to fructose.
The first signs of TB are sticky spots on the leaves. In the further course, the leaves change color, wither and fall off. The flowers are also deformed.
The control of the scale is difficult and tedious. The eggs are well protected under the shield against spray. Therefore, one can only work here with systemic means. These are remedies that are absorbed by the plant.
As a first step infested plants should be isolated in order to prevent further spreading of the infestation to other plants. Then the decision is whether to resort to home remedies, non-toxic oil-containing products or chemical agents. With a low infestation one can try it first with "milder" methods, with heavy infestation only chemistry helps.
- Scraping with alcohol:
- Cutting off the affected leaves:
- Tea Tree Oil, Niemöl or Kernseife:
For this purpose, a cloth with tea tree oil, Niemöl or Kernseifenlauge is soaked and the scale lice thus rubbed off the plants. If necessary, scrape with a knife.
In case of a larger infestation, the plant can also be sprayed with a core soap solution. After about two hours, the plant is then sprayed with a stream of water.
These agents are offered as a spray and act by connecting the scale insects with an oil film to the plant surface and suffocate. This is very effective, but unfortunately it also sticks to the leaf pores. Therefore, just spray the stems, branches and branch forks and spray a cotton swab for the leaves to dab the aphids.
For Oleander under no circumstances use "Promanal"! This remedy contains mineral oil ingredients that Oleander can not tolerate. For oleanders "natures" can be used. It contains rapeseed oil that is tolerated.
ChemicalsBe sure to respect the bee's compatibility with chemicals when the plants are outside! These products are offered as sticks that are put into the soil, or as granules for incorporation into the soil. The active ingredients are absorbed by the plant via the roots and distributed in the plant. The scale insects take it over the sap. The problem with this method is that the preparations usually also contain fertilizer. This can easily lead to over-fertilization, which damages the plant.