At this stage, they are called crawlers, and they are very tiny. They are a major pest of camellias and some hollies. Follow label directions carefully. Regular applications of a horticultural oil such as Bonide All-Seasons Horticultural and Dormant Oil will help. Time sprays to coincide with the crawler stage (May-June), which is most susceptible to insecticides. The plant absorbs the insecticide into its tissue, and it gets into the plant’s circulatory system and into the sap. It is one of the most polyphagous insects known, reported from 75 different plant families. These fungi feed on the honeydew and do not attack or directly damage the plant, but the appearance of sooty mold is often the gardener’s first noticeable sign of trouble. REINERT: CONTROLLING FALSE OLEANDER SCALE 519 an infestation, growing on the honeydew given off selected for study. Treatment involves pouring the mixed insecticide at the base of the plant. False oleander scale feeds on the leaves of hundreds of plant species is a major pest of ornamental plants in nurseries and landscapes. Tea scale insects are about the size of a hyphen, appear slightly fuzzy and are white or brown. The spots are insects called False Oleander Scale, Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli. False Oleander scale (Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli) Greedy scale (Hemiberlesia rapax), tea scale (Fiorinia theae), and scurfy scale (Chionaspis furfura) have been diagnosed as pests on Southern magnolia in South Carolina landscapes. Once they settle down to feed and pierce the plant’s tissue with their needle-like mouthparts, they never move again and become firmly attached to a leaf or stem. For tall trees that cannot be sprayed easily, you can use a systemic insecticides that are applied to the root system of the tree. False oleander scale is not a good name since this insect attacks over 100 plant species, including Southern magnolia, sweetbay magnolia, aucuba, and English ivy, as well as oleander. Females lay small, oval, yellow colored eggs underneath the armor. In fact this scale is also known as magnolia white scale. Magnolia white scale, Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli (Cooley), (known formerly as the false oleander scale) is an invasive Asian scale found in the southern United States. Photo by Dan Gill/LSU It’s easy to find imidacloprid, sold as as Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub Insect Control. These insects can secrete a waxy covering that protects them from the environme… False Oleander Scale A second cause of white spots on magnolia trees is the insect pest called false oleander scale, which feeds on a variety of trees. The sooty mold will not quickly disappear when the scale has been controlled, but as the food supply is exhausted the sooty mold will eventually weather off. Brand names of spray oils include Volck (use only during cool weather), All Seasons and Year-Round. Scale insects may be resistant to some pesticides (read the pesticide label to be sure), but they can’t live if they can’t breathe. Asian cycad scale (Aulacaspis yasumatsui) and false oleander scale (Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli) are the most common pests of this type known to plague cycads. It is one of the most polyphagous insects known, reported from 75 different plant families. On magnolia trees, false oleander scale looks like small white bumps on the leaves, and magnolia scale appears as yellow waxy blobs about one-quarter to one-half inch across on the branches. Hosts Commonly Attacked Acephate, imidacloprid and dinotefuran are three commonly used systemic insecticides that are effective against scale. These insects are more vulnerable to sprays at that particular time in their life cycle than at other periods, and that time is generally late summer. As scale insects feed on the sugary sap of a plant, they excrete some of the sugar as a liquid called honeydew. False oleander scales occur wherever sagos grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. The adult male scale is elongate. Almost 40% of the Clemson Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic sample submissions for home landscapes during 2012 and 2013 were scale insect pests, and of these, almost 90% of the species were the more difficult to control armored scales. Acephate, imidacloprid and dinotefuran are three commonly used systemic insecticides that are effective against scale. False oleander scale (Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli) A damaging population of false oleander scales will cause leaves to yellow and eventually defoliate. Heavy infestations can cause premature leaf drop and unthrifty plants. These insecticides contain oil in a form that will mix with water. Check plants for live scale infestations. 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