If one day, when inspecting your favorite plants, you notice an insect that looks like a flat aphid or a shell, then you should know that you have a scabbard. Do not panic and immediately throw your favorite plant out of the house. You can still help him. But first you need to understand what a scabbard is and how it is harmful.
The scabbard is a very serious enemy of the florist, especially the beginner. This enemy is terrible in that at the initial stage of development, it is extremely difficult to detect, since these are mobile and small insects. We can immediately say that the best way to prevent and combat the scabbard is a thorough and regular inspection of the plants.
Let's take a closer look at the shield itself and methods of dealing with it.
There are quite a few types of scale insects, and the difference between them is in size and color. But they all have a common feature - a wax shield that covers the body, and which gave the basis for the name of this pest. It is not worth describing all types, because there are quite a few of them and this is not interesting for everyone, but it is worth mentioning that there are false shields. But, despite their name, they do no less harm.
What is the danger of the scabbard?
The body of the scabbard is only 5 mm, but this does not make it less dangerous. The whole danger lies in the fact that she sucks out all the juices from the plant after settling on it. The result is abscission, drying of the leaves, and sometimes the death of the plant, if nothing is done. Conventional scabbard control methods may not work, as the wax shield makes it immune to many chemicals. There are many known cases when the war with this enemy was completely lost. But, in fact, not everything is so scary. After all, the shield can be defeated even in the very last stages. But this requires a lot of patience, time and the right approach.
Signs of damage with a scabbard
As mentioned above, the scale insect is very difficult to detect at an early stage, because it is a rather small insect that moves very quickly. Although it is the active movement that betrays her. And even if you do not have sharp eyesight, you can use a magnifying glass. The next time you inspect the plant, you will not be able to miss the movement along the stem and leaves of the plant. After that, you must immediately strike a preemptive blow. But adult scale insects can be easily seen with the naked eye, even if you have poor eyesight. They often appear at the place where the cutting of the leaf adjoins a branch or trunk, and their most favorite place is the bottom of the leaf. Scabbards look like specks on leaves, trunks, etc.
Still, there are cases when the florist did not see them. But here, too, there is no need to despair, because the next sign of a scabbard attack is very pronounced. A sticky liquid (the so-called pad) begins to appear on the leaves, and sometimes it becomes so much that this pad begins to flow down the leaves onto the windowsill. This becomes especially noticeable when the scale insect attacks the lemon. Because of this sticky liquid, the situation is aggravated even more by the fact that a sooty fungus develops on it. The list of plants (indoor) that the scale insect can easily attack is very long. These are many of ivy, citrus, palms, oleander, croton, ficus, yucca, dracaena, pachistachis, fat woman. But this is only the beginning of the list ...
Methods of dealing with the scabbard
If you managed to spot this parasite at an early stage, when it is not protected, then it is enough just to carefully and diligently spray the plant with an insecticide solution. However, if this moment is still missed, then the fight will become a little more difficult. Do not think that to get rid of the scabbard, it will be enough for you to raise the humidity, as is necessary for a spider mite, or to spray it with a solution of laundry soap, as required by aphids.
Mechanical cleaning is what will help remove the shield. Yes, with your own hands. Naturally, using improvised tools such as an unnecessary toothbrush can help. Many recommend using cotton swabs, which must first be moistened in a solution of Actara or karbofos.
The mechanical method is quite reliable, but only if you have a lot of patience and can remove all the pests. The whole problem is that the scale insect reproduces at a tremendous speed, and there are viviparous, and there are those that lay eggs. They become immobile, as they guard their offspring. And if you missed at least one speck, then all the work was in vain. But florists recommend radical methods.
Immediately after you have removed all the parasites from the plant, you need to carefully spray it with a solution of actara. Pay special attention to the inside of the paper (this is their favorite place). A young or not tall plant must be watered the next day with the same solution. After, a week later, repeat the procedure. In this case, first of all, the plant affected by the shield must be isolated from others, and the place on which it stood, and, preferably, neighboring plants, must be carefully treated with aktar.
Since almost all insecticides have a pungent odor, and are also toxic, it is better to carry out the treatment in a non-residential area. Another important detail should be taken into account: watch the humidity of the air, since if it is increased, then this is an excellent condition for the reproduction of the scale insect. Therefore, in sunny summer weather, it is better to take the plant out into fresh air and place it where there is good lighting. Bright light slows down the development of scale insects.
A dangerous fungal disease caused by the phytophthora fungus. The microorganism multiplies underground and destroys the roots.
The diseased roots turn black, become fragile. Then the infection enters the trunk and goes out in the form of ulcers on the bark.
A plant affected by late blight cannot be cured, it will have to be destroyed.
The pest is active all year round, does not hibernate in winter. Insects are constantly on the underside of the leaf blades or in the place where the cuttings of the leaves branch off from the trunk or branches. The favorite habitats of scale insects are trees and shrubs. They are rare on herbaceous plants.
The pest feeds on plant sap, extracting it from vegetative parts and fruits. A pale or brownish speck forms at the puncture site. When eating, scale insects leave a sweetish bloom on the leaves. A special black fungus is bred on it. It further worsens the condition of the plants.
Today we will talk about the sore point. One of the most frequent questions that you ask us is: "Why do thujas turn yellow?" This article lists the main causes and solutions to this problem.
The yellowing of the needles is, unfortunately, always a complex of reasons. The problem may be in improper care of the thuja itself, and in improper planting and nutritional deficiencies. As a result, the tree's immunity is weakened and diseases and pests easily settle in thuja.
Now - about the reasons for the yellowing of thuja in order of importance.
In fact, thuja are one of the most unpretentious plants. It is enough to follow the basic planting rules and do not deepen the root collar.
First, make sure the planting hole is 1.5 to 2 times the size of the lump. Secondly, the root collar should not be buried. Focus on the soil level that was in the container.
All conifers must be thoroughly watered before planting (or transplanting) so that the water is absorbed and fixes the soil. A dry lump will surely fall apart and strip the root system.
If you brought a seedling from a garden center in a container, then your main task when transplanting is to save a lump. The more tenderly you handle the lump, the more chances you have of growing a healthy and happy plant.
Scales are small insects ranging in size from 0.5 to 5 mm, covered with a semicircular dome-shaped, less often an oblong shell - a wax shield. They usually live on woody plants. The color of the scutellum can be different, from white or gray to orange, brown or black, and depends on the species of the insect.
There are many types of scale insects and false scales. Gardeners combine them on the basis of similarities in appearance, behavior, and harm. Females in scale insects are larger than males, move only at an early age, until the shield has formed, and then sit motionless on the plant.
The larvae of the first and second periods spend the winter hidden under shields on trees in cracks on the bark of trunks and on branches. They begin to wake up and eat actively in the spring, which coincides with sap flow in plants. After three weeks (April-May), during which the larvae have passed two molts, they will turn into adult females.
In the same period, males begin their years. Their number is small, only 2 to 9% of the entire population.
The location of the scale insects on the plant is characteristic: males prefer the leaves from the lower side, and females are located on the petioles.
After mating, the larvae appear after three months. The Californian scale insect is a rather prolific insect, the female lays from 90 to 550 pieces, depending on the habitat and climate.
The larvae of the first period (vagabonds) are so called because they are able to move around the plant. Coming out from under the female's shield, they crawl along the branches of the plant in search of a place for attachment.
The California scale insect at the larval stage is able to live without food - up to a week. However, under favorable circumstances, it finds a convenient place, attaches itself and begins to feed. After that, a specific liquid is released - wax threads, they intertwine and form a shield of the larva, which will darken after a few days. A week after the formation of the scutellum, the larva molts for the first time, and within the next two weeks, the larva of the second period turns into an adult female.
Before the first molt, the development of the male is similar. Further development goes through all the stages of complete transformation.
The male, coming out from under the scutellum, practically does not feed, its life span is rather short, after the mating process, the male dies.
At the end of August, the second generation of vagrants will appear, which will remain for the winter.