Holbrook House Farm
Holbrook House Farm

Armored Scale Disease | Hard Scale Disease

Armored Scales or Hard Scale Tree Disease is caused by insects

There are over 6000 species of hard scale insects and about 1000 of these species are common to North America. They range in size from 1 to 3 millimeters. The most common species of scale insects are the armored scale or hard scale, the soft scale, and mealybugs.

How Hard Scale Hurts Trees

Oak Tree Hard Scale also know as Armored Scale

Armored Scales or Hard Scale Tree Disease seen on a tree branch

Hard Scale, Armored Scale, Soft Scale, and Mealybugs all feed on trees.

The hard scale insects have mouths that allow them to first penetrate into a tree and then suck out the trees natural fluids.

These hard scale parasitic insects feed on the tree until they drain the plant of its fluids. They do this while attached to plant's leaves, twigs, and branches. The hard scale insects remain stationary and look like bumps or growths on the tree.

Hard Scale insects are so called because they have a hard scale cover or shell that makes them hard to treat.  Their hard scale protective coating protects them from pesticides and chemical treatments.  Hard Scales are most vulnerable to treatments after they hatch, when they are in the crawler stage.  The hatchlings move about looking for a place to feed. Larger trees are hardest to treat because of their size.

Holbrook Hard Scale Treatment is Effective

Holbrook House Farm arborists have an effective method of treating hard scale infestations. We inject systemic insecticides directly into the tree's trunk.  Holbrook House Farm's hard scale treatment has proven to be especially successful.

Hard Scale Treatment Option

An optional system Holbrook House uses to treat hard scale includes horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps which are less toxic and more environmentally friendly.

Our horticultural oils work by smothering the insect during any stage of its life cycle.  Insecticidal soap is a natural pesticide which is used to kill only the larvae.  These methods require repeated applications. Call us today for a free evaluation and we will show you about how we successfully treat hard scale on your trees.

About Hard Scale Insects:

Hard and soft scale are categories of insects that are sucking insects who attack may kinds of trees and shrubs. Hard Scale insects are hard shell and soft scale insects have a softer shell. When they attack a plant or tree they may cause leaf yellowing, stunting, plant stress, and dieback. Their eggs are laid under female adult coverings which hatch in the spring and summer. Upon hatching the scale insects are in the crawler stage which is when they walk around on plants to find places to feed. This causes the infestation to spread.

Armored Hard Scales Attack Broad Leaf Trees and Shrubs:

Armored Hard Scales select oak trees as a primary host.  They can be found on pin and willow oaks planted in your landscape. In heavy infestations, scale covers can overlap on branches and twigs. If there are small holes in the scale covers it may indicate that tiny parasitoid wasps have been active to help control this pest.

More Hard Scale / Soft Scale Information

University of Maryland Extension

Scale insects: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Brian Kunkel, University of Delaware, Bugwood.org



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