Brown soft scale (Coccus hesperidum) may be found on pomegranate and citrus trees, as well as bay laurel.
These pests can suck the life out of your lemon, orange, kumquat, lime, and pomegranate trees, killing twigs, and reducing your harvest. Like other sap-sucking insects, brown soft scales excrete sugary honeydew, which creates habitat for sooty mold, and attracts disease-carrying ants.
Brown soft scale description
These pests live under yellowish, mottled shells. They may look like nothing more than little bumps on leaves and twigs, Brown soft scale look similar to citricola scale insects.
Brown soft scale lifecycle
Brown soft scale females give live birth, or lay eggs which hatch almost immediately. These young crawlers move around freely on leaves and twigs, feeding as they go. They continue moving around until they are about half grown, molting twice.
Controlling brown soft scale
Sticky barriers around the trunks of susceptible trees can cut off protection to brown soft scale pests by ants. Also, avoiding the use of broad spectrum pesticides allows natural predators to feed on these pests. If you see scale shells with holes in the top of them, you will know they have been parasitized by beneficial insects. Heavy infestations can be treated with dormant oil in winter, but this is rarely necessary.
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!