Cottony cushion scale

Date: 22 Aug 2002   Author: Jianhua Mo

Cottony cushion scale

Description

  • 10–15 mm long.
  • The complete life cycle of cottony cushion scale takes around 2 months in summer, with at least two generations occurring per year.
  • The female cottony cushion scale produces up to 1000 eggs, which are carried in the fluted white cottony egg sac.

Damage

  • The honeydew encourages the growth of sooty mould, which downgrades fruit quality and, in severe infestations, causes leaf drop, twig dieback and deterioration of tree health.

Monitoring

  • Monitoring is needed most during February–March. Check five randomly selected green twigs per tree and examine each twig for the presence of adult scales with egg sac.
  • If 5% of the green twigs checked are infested with one or more scales, then actions should be taken.

Natural enemies

  • Ladybirds
  • Lacewings

Control measures

  • Appropriate actions include spraying petroleum spray oils (PSOs), which are best applied when crawlers are most active soon after hatching (around mid to late March).

More information