Real World Gardener Plant Doctor Looks at Scale Insects

May 4th, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


with Steve Falcioni from
SCALE:This pest that attacks all manner of plants is tiny, really tiny, only 2-3mm long.
So, yes you’d need a good magnifying class to look at them.
The thing is, when they’re doing damage to your plant’s leaves and branches, they stay very still under a covering which is mostly impervious to anything that you spray on it.

Scale on Port Wine Magnolia

If you notice block stuff sticking to the leaves of your plants and ants going about their business as well, then you definitely have got some sort of scale happening.
Some scale insects (like soft scales) hatch from eggs, while others are born live.
scale+insects.pngThey disperse to favourable sites on the leaf, settle down and start feeding. This dispersal stage is known as a ‘crawler’.
The juveniles then become sedentary, and start building their protective scale covers.
As we mentioned, targeting scale when they’re most vulnerable is the best method.
If you have any questions about the scale, or  even have a photo a problem on your plant, why not drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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