How Do Ants Kill Scale?
Whether you are growing fruit trees or shrubs, scale insects are a threat to your plant. While they are small, they can be difficult to remove, but there are several effective methods. Insecticides are a good option for controlling scale.
When scale invades your plant, it will produce a sticky substance called honeydew. The sticky substance is highly desirable to ants. These insects rely on scale insects for their food. The sticky substance can foul sidewalks and cars. If your plant is suffering from scale infestation, control it immediately.
Insecticidal soaps can also be effective against scale. But these products should be applied only to plants that are well hydrated. They should not be used on unhydrated plants or in direct sunlight. The soaps also should not be applied in the heat of the summer.
Neem oil can also be effective in controlling scale. This oil can be used in a garden sprayer. For added protection, neem oil should be mixed with a dish detergent emulsifier. The combination of oil and detergent will clog breathing pores, suffocating scale insects.
Some species of scale produce two generations per year. In the first generation, nymphs emerge from the plant in early summer. These nymphs then overwinter in the tree bark or under the bark. The second generation of scale will emerge from the tree or shrub in the late summer or early fall.
During the second generation, female scale insects will lay eggs under their bodies. These eggs hatch into tiny yellow or orange crawlers. The crawlers then search for a suitable location to feed. Eventually, the crawlers will reach maturity. They will then begin molting.