Their shiny oval bodies attach to plant stems or leaves. The pesky scale bugs bite into plants to feed on the sap, resulting in discolored leaves, leaf drop and stunted plant growth. Because nymphs can be hard to spot, you’ll need to use natural oil or soap sprays to debug the rest of your plant. You won’t have to spend a lot of money and you won’t have to worry about mysterious chemicals with scary sounding names. The types of plant damage caused by scale insects include: Although scale pests don’t damage plants as quickly as spider mites, you need to get rid of the plant bugs quickly. To get rid of scale on plants, mix two teaspoons of organic neem oil and a teaspoon of Castile soap with a 1 quart (1 l) of lukewarm water. This is why testing is vital. Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Scale? Before eliminating scale bugs from houseplants, you need to isolate the diseased plants from other plants to stop further infestation. The alcohol is effective at killing the scale as it dissolves their protective armor and then proceeds to kill the bugs. Each species has a different host range and life cycle. Looking closely, you will also see a sticky liquid on the round shiny bodies that the sap-sucking bugs use as protection. After an hour or two wash the plant with a damp cloth to reduce the chance of the soap damaging the plant. But other ways that scale insects get into the house and infest plants are from using contaminated soil, reusing an unsterilized pot, or keeping houseplants outside in the summer. As long as you test the mixture first – on a small section of your plant such as one leaf and dilute the mixture properly as outlined above, it should not kill your plants. 5. Scale insects suck sap from plants, robbing them of essential nutrients. You can spray the solution on the pests as mentioned above or apply it directly with a cotton ball or swab. Scale insects are nasty little plant suckers that are relatively common among indoor and outdoor plants and trees. Redoctober Well-Known Member. Trees heavily infested with armored scale often look water-stressed. If you notice any scale bugs, soak a cotton swab in 70% alcohol and apply directly to the bugs to kill them instantly. Even worse, they can wipe out other nearby plants if you don’t take action. When scales reach adulthood, they don’t move on plants, making them hard to identify. Click Here to Get Your Free Sequoia Seeds! How to Use Alcohol on Orchids Indoors. Controlling Citrus Scale Citrus scale control can be accomplished with the use of pesticides, biological control via the introduction of indigenous parasitic wasps ( Metaphycus luteolus, M. stanleyi, M. nietneri, M. helvolus , and Coccophagus ) and an organically approved petroleum spray. Then, carefully remove the root ball from the pot and dispose of all soil. Depending on how bad the infestation is, repeat applications will be needed every three to seven days, for a couple of weeks. Both types of scale have a protective coating – armored secrete a hard protective coating – sort of like it’s own little house on the plant. Scale insects thrive in warm, dry environments. Three types of scale can affect houseplants: The pink wax scale in this picture is a types of soft scale insect. Be sure to dispose of the contaminated plant parts in the trash, not compost. Use a cotton swab or Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol and apply directly on the bugs. A stronger concentration is more likely to kill insects; however, caution is needed when applying more concentrated alcohol. Here is an example of the correct type of rubbing alcohol to buy. You can repeat this process in 3 days. Scale bugs are plant pests with round or oval shape and range in size from minuscule dots to large lumps. I think it’s because they’re often able to multiply quickly, and it’s tough to keep up with their reproduction rates. If you have a heavy infestation outdoors, prune away the stems with the most scales. Soap spray is a common way to get rid of scale infestation. . You can also use a liquid soap solution to kill scale bugs on plants. What can you do to minimize the risk of scale insects infesting your prized houseplants? I spray my bay plant in the tub to avoid getting soapy, alcohol-y, buggy, water everywhere. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; There is also the possibility of chilling the plant with the fast evaporating alcohol. The soapy liquid helps to break down the scales coating. Scales can infest plant soil so repotting may be necessary. Scales are small bugs in the insect order Hemiptera. But why does rubbing alcohol kill bugs and other plant pests? Scale coverings range in size, shape, and color depending on species. Most types of scale insects have oval-shaped bodies. Both types of scale have a protective coating – armored secrete a hard protective coating – sort of like it’s own little house on the plant. Scale insects feed on many plants, but are often overlooked because they are immobile and many types look like small bumps that just might be plant parts blending in with the leaves, twigs and branches. Let’s learn more about identifying scale and how to control them. The hard scale does not leave this excretion. max316420 Well-Known Member. So, as well as noticing unusually tan-colored lumps on plants, the stems and leaves may be sticky and start turning black. On hard-leaved plants, remove scale by gently rubbing with fingers or an infant's soft toothbrush, with or without alcohol. During the growing season, inspect the underside of leaves and stem joints for signs of scales. Tropical plants take a lot of time and patience to grow and keep alive. You could inadvertently bring in all sorts of plant pests—scales included—on cut garden flowers or fresh produce from the store. Neem oil spray is an effective way to kill scale insects on plant. To make the spray, mix 1/2 to 1 cup of rubbing alcohol with 1 quart of water in a pump-spray bottle. If using the same pot, thoroughly wash it with hot soapy water to sterilize it. Different concentrations of rubbing alcohol mixture should be tested on plants. Scales are crawling insects that can’t fly, and they infest plants by moving from one to another. Here’s a video demonstrating the application of rubbing alcohol on the scale pests. The scales can be tiny pests, measuring 2 mm, or larger bugs up to 5 mm in diameter. In order for rubbing alcohol to be effective, it must come in direct contact with the scale … These tiny insects can appear as benign brown growths on your plants, but on the underside of their shells, they’ve firmly adhered themselves to your plant and are sucking away at its sap. Scrape off or spray off any visible bugs from your plants. Soft scale have a waxy coating that is connected to their body. Scale is easily transmitted to clean plants when plants are crowded, ... you can rub the scale with isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab to remove the bugs. Armored scales can kill trees and must be controlled when their population gets too high. After the plant dries out the dead scale bugs will start to dry out too. Some houseplants have sensitive, delicate leaves. So, always inspect new plants for signs of an infestation before bringing into your house. Use regularly on your plant until all traces of scale or other houseplant pests have gone for good. Adult scale insects are usually covered in waxy shell-like cover. The females lay eggs, which are hidden under their bodies. Does Rubbing Alcohol Hurt Plants When Used for Pests?. For larger infestation dip a cloth in rubbing alcohol and wipe the affected leaves or stems. It also dries out the bugs as it evaporates. Alternatively, you can mix one-part rubbing alcohol with one-part water and kill the spider mites that are infesting your plant. Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol to 7 parts water and spray it on plants affected by aphids, mealybugs, thrips, whiteflies, etc. About the size of a pinhead, they're very mobile as they feed. Neem oil works to kill common plant bugs by disrupting their reproductive systems. In time, scale insects clump together on stems, looking like lumpy plant growth. What should you look out for when inspecting plants for scale pests? Another option for management suggested by the Can… 2. Identifying scale insects on houseplants requires looking for unusual bumpy growth on stems and the underside of leaves. As always, it’s best to test a leaf before cleaning the entire plant. But, there is no hard and fast rule on this as there are too many plant species to give a general answer. There may be evidence of honeydew and sooty mold if your plant has scales. Scales can do a lot of damage to houseplants and outdoor plants. For the purposes of this article though, the solution is effective against aphids, mealybugs, scale, red spider mites, fungus gnats, white flies and more. Let the plant seat for 20 minutes after spraying then rinse with water. Rubbing alcohol can be an effective pesticide for use against aphids, mealybugs, spider mites and whiteflies . How to Grow Cool, Unusual and Tropical Plants from Seeds. As scale bugs can infect houseplant soil, it is vital to replace potting soil to ensure you eliminate scale insects from your plants and to make sure they don’t return. Please note that rubbing alcohol if applied without dilution can burn the plants. (1). If that’s not the case, some plants may simply need to have their leaves cleaned with a rubbing alcohol solution if they have collected too much dust in your home or office. Identifying Scale Plant Insect. Fill 1 quart (1 l) spray bottle with lukewarm water and add 1-2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap or Castile soap. Follow-up. The first step when noticing scale infestation on a plant is to isolate it and remove the affected parts. There are many different brands. To take effective action, use this safe and simple rubbing alcohol/water solution to get rid of the pests on your plants. As a Pesticide: Rubbing alcohol can be an effective pesticide for use against Aphids, mealybugs, spider mites and whiteflies. The most apparent damage that scale causes on houseplants is weak or stunted growth. No harm done to leaf tissue. Dabbing individual pests with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab or neem-based leaf shine will also work when infestations are light. Treating scale insects on ferns is tricky because many ferns are particularly sensitive to handling and to any chemicals, including soap and alcohol. As mentioned above, you should use 70% isopropyl alcohol. . However, because they only live for a few days, you will rarely see these pests on plants. So First we will list out the Top 5 uses of alcohol in garden and plants. Male scale insects look entirely different from female scale bugs. Can You Spray Plants with Alcohol?. This may require a bit of patience, but your plant will be thankful. How To Treat Scale On Plants. You may want to wipe away extra alcohol from the leaf so that it doesn’t damage the leaf tissue, especially if the plant is in windy location. If you’ve got a scale infestation, you’ll notice brown shell-like scales stuck to the plant. Others, will have no problem at all. Not all plants are alike, so obviously some will be way more sensitive than others. In this guide to scale insect control, you will find out how to get rid of these plant-destroying bugs on houseplants and outdoor plants. If the plant is small enough you can try do dunk it in a bucket of soapy water, this way you won’t miss any spots on the plant. This step is vital to prevent getting scale bugs or other houseplant pests infesting your houseplants. For a small infestation, you can rub the scale with isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab to remove them. 70% means that 70% of the contents in the bottle is alcohol and 30% is water. Watch out not to spray the plant in direct sunlight. Read on to find out. Alliteration aside, scale is a nasty pest because it spreads quick and is relatively difficult to remove. After noticing signs of scale on plants such as brownish-red or white-gray bumps it’s vital to isolate the plant. Scale affected plants will be sickly and show yellowing of the leaves and leaf drop. The female insects stay at the same spot, sucking the plant’s sap. Soft scale (for example pink wax scale and soft brown scale) are usually found on the mid-rib of leaves and stalks of host plants. This can be hard on the plant, so don’t do it too often or if there a large amount of scale. Before you begin, let’s research this a little further, as there are a few more important tips you will want to know. It’s best to prune the affected part for heavily-infested plants to remove all traces of scale bugs altogether. I have used rubbing alcohol for scale insects on Azalea. If you see a few scale pests, dab them with alcohol. Alcohol sprays sometimes are recommended as insecticides, especially for the elimination of mealybugs, which can prove resistant to other treatments. To get rid of scale insects prune and dispose of infested branches, twigs and leaves. The scale group of bugs includes many species, grouped as armored, soft and mealybug. Once you have ensured that the plant you want to clean has passed the initial test, then simply use a cotton ball soaked in the rubbing alcohol mixture to wipe the dust off the leaves. Just put some 70% isopropyl alcohol on a clean cloth and wipe the underside of the affected plant leaves. Symptoms and Diagnosis. To get rid of scales on plant, dab a cotton swab in 70% isopropyl alcohol and apply to scale insects to kill them. The most common way of acquiring scale is purchasing an infested plant. Adults are visible on plants, though they often blend in. It does kill the mites and doesnt harm the plant, read it on a google search before trying it... not sure about the eggs though . Scale insects are among the most destructive pests on ornamental plants, according to the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Program. Some plants are simply super sensitive and the slightest disruption may have a disastrous cascade effect. It’s during their adult stage when scale bugs do the most damage. amzn_assoc_region = "US"; Scales often come from the outdoors as well as from new infested houseplants. The alcohol kills bugs by dissolving the bug’s cells as it is a solvent. Remember, if you notice one plant with a scale infestation, isolate it immediately from other plants to avoid scales making their way to other plants. The adult scale lays up to 1000 eggs that hatch into crawlers. The scale bug is small, oval and flat, with a protective tan to brown shell-like covering (scale). You will need several applications to kill off scale bugs and their nymphs. Resistant to other treatments home on the plant, so don ’ t look like round bumps on the in... 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