The Q&A Archives: Scale

Question: I own a kumquat plant that was grown in you nursery. It has a severe case of scale. The leaves fall off as fast as they appear. How can I get rid of them. Sincerely, Murray Lipsey

Answer: Murray,

Since that plant produces edible fruits you should avoid any of the systemic products that are sold for scale control. They won't be labeled for Kumquats anyway. Your best bet would be to use oil sprays. Choose a horticultural oil or summer oil rather than a dormant oil. Follow label instructions carefully regarding how strong to mix the product and make sure the spray mix is kept well mixed by shaking periodically. Oil kills scale by coating and suffocating the insect, not by poisoning them. Therefore getting thorough coverage is critical if you are to get effective control. Reapplications a week or two later may be needed to control any scale missed with the first application.

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