The Q&A Archives: Contorted Hazel Pest

Question: Hi, a quick question on behalf of my mother. She has a contorted hazel which is covered in some kind of insect. They are round in shape and have a hard brown shell which is grooved. They are approx 1/8th inch in size and are motionless. When squashed (!!) they crack and ooze!! What are they and how can she get rid of them?

Answer: Based on your decription it sounds like the plant is infested with some type of scale. These sucking insects attach themselves like flat discs on the foliage and stems. They can be controlled by hand scraping (a huge task), by using insecticidal soap when in they are in the softer crawling stage or with horticultural oil according to the label instructions.

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