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Lawn Care Blog

ATTACK of Lecanium Scales! - Gross Lawn Care Stuff

Licanium ScalesQue the scary music and dramatic pauses, because this article is going to get gross! We all know that insects are starting to become active in your lawns and on your trees and shrubs. But today we'll look at perhaps the grossest one out there that (wait for it...) could be in YOUR LANDSCAPING RIGHT NOW!  AHHHH!!!!!

Yuck! What Are These Things?

Lecanium scales are tiny little insects that feed on the sap of a certain variety of trees, including maples, oaks, pines, and other trees. As they consume your tree's sap, they expel a liquid waste often referred to as "honeydew." This "honeydew" is often the first sign of a possible infestation, making the leaves of the plant shiny, and damp looking.

After spending the winter clinging to twigs and branches in a "dwarf" or immature state, Lecanium scales develop a waxy covering that resembles a small turtles shell. This shell is developed to protect a large number of eggs that they have laid. After hatching, the larvae moves to the leaves of the plant, consuming the tissue.

What Can I Do If They Attack My Trees!

Lecanium scales should be treated with a dormant oil in the early spring before they have a chance to become active. Timing is the critical aspect of treatment, because once they reach a mature state (with a shell), it is difficult to control this insect. Here are your options:

  1. Tree & Shrub Program: Lecanium scales often attack stressed or diseased trees. Developing a strong fertilization and dormant oil program for your landscaping will eliminate the chances your plants will get these scales.
  2. Remove Infected Branches: By trimming out the branches that are infected, you reduce the chances of them spreading to the entire tree or plant.
  3. Insecticide Drench: When reaching this part of the season, dormant oils will have little effect on the scale, this according to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. Their recommendation for when scale reaches this stage is a product known as Imidacloprid. This product can be used in a soil drench, allowing the tree to take in the liquid, killing the scale through the sap that they feed on. 

Check Out Our FREE Lawn Care and Plant Insect Guide

Okay, if you're creeped out like I am right now, I want to know all the insects that could be in my lawn and landscape. More importantly, I'd want to know how to get them the heck out of there! Weed Pro has you covered because we've created the ultimate lawn care and landscape insect guide that will get you up to speed on these insects, and how to get rid of them! Best part, this guide is yours for FREE! Simply click on the button below to download your free copy!

Happy Bugging!

Lawn Care & Landscape Insect Guide 

Shaun Kanary   has been a part of the Green Industry for the past 15 years. As the Director of Marketing for Weed Pro Lawn Care, a Cleveland and Columbus Lawn Care Service Provider, Shaun is a regular contributor to the Weed Pro Blog, and other industry magazine and blogs. 

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