Scale insects can be devastating to citrus trees. Angela Ryczkowski is a professional writer who has served as a greenhouse manager and certified wildland firefighter. If you can’t see any pests then there’s a pretty good chance of it being: scale (some types are very good at camouflage) or, mites (very small and difficult to spot with the naked eye). Knowing how to recognize fig tree diseases can help keep you one step ahead of garden disaster. Mealybugs look like small cottony clusters and scale look like bumpy white or black spots on the stems and body of the tree. While its primary target is citrus trees, it also feeds on olives and other fruit, and can be found on some vegetables such as pumpkin. Native to Africa. This information sheet describes their biology and the control and prevention of these plant pests. Scrape a few scales or their covers gently off of the ficus with a knife or similar tool and inspect the insects to determine if they are alive and feeding or dead. Change and inspect the tape weekly. Repot the tree immediately and make sure to flush as much of the old soil out of the roots as you can. ), try these four tips: Scale can easily spread from plant to plant, so move the infected plant far away from your other houseplants to prevent spreading. Over-watering in particular increases the risk of disease. Scales, which generally appear on plant parts as immobile bumps, can cause leaf wilting, yellowing and premature drop. Scale insects are small, inconspicuous insects that use hair-like mouthparts to extract plant sap from leaves or branches. If left untreated, scale can stunt your plant’s growth and eventually kill it. Wash dust off of ficus tree foliage with a strong spray of water whenever a large amount of dust accumulates on the ficus leaves during the growing season, as dust disrupts natural predator activity. Remove existing scale on houseplants by rubbing gently with a facial-quality sponge or cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. NOTE: There are other different types of scale and some scale insects are host specific, such as rose scale, white palm scale, gum tree scale and tea scale (camellias). You may effectively address minor scale infestation on small ficus trees by rubbing each scale with a cotton swab soaked with rubbing alcohol. Do not apply horticultural oil when it is foggy or rainy or when temperatures are above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or if these conditions could occur within 24 hours of application. As with all issues that affect fiddle leaf figs, it’s best to treat this early. Treatment is as for Endosepsis. Worldwide: Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America, the Caribbean, Mediterranean region, Pacific Islands, and South America. It has been a pest of Ixoraspp. Cover the bark and foliage as completely as possible. Avoid the use of broad-spectrum, persistent pesticides, as these can have a more negative and lasting impact on beneficial scale predators or parasites than on scales. Viewed from the top, they are rectangular, oval or lobed at the base. If left untreated, the ripe figs rot and the tree sheds its leaves. Prune off any ficus branches that are touching the ground, another plant or a structure that could provide a bridge for the ants. What Kind of Bug Affects Ficus Trees Indoors? The 2020 Gift Guide for Fiddle Leaf Fig Lovers, The Complete Guide to Fiddle Leaf Fig Fruit. Buy Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food on Amazon Now! Treatment. Continue the treatment once a week or so until the scale are no longer present. This works well for light to moderate infestations. Secondly, fruit from this tree may not be palatable because scales are now feeding on them. Hi guys I have a fig tree planted in the backyard and today I found these pests on the fruit and on some stems and leaves. Flipping the cover of a scale off may reveal parasitic larvae or a predator. How to Get Rid of Soft Brown Scale from a Key Lime Tree. Scale is a type of insect that can be tricky to get rid of once they infect your plant. Ladybugs are natural predators of many harmful insects, including scale. DIY Black Scale Treatment Recipe This recipe uses a two-pronged approach; Neem to kill nibbling scalesand oil to smother them. The pests are tiny insects which suck sap from the citrus tree and then excrete honeydew which accumulates on leaves, branches and fruit. Treating bugs, such as dried fruit beetles or … Underneath the wax cap, the body of the scale is red. Do not apply oil within 30 days of a sulfur application. It is easier to control scale when there is not foliage on the trees to deflect the sprays. There are actually thousands of different species, but most don’t have legs and will look like small brown bumps. Enclose the lower portion of the tree in netting to prevent the females from laying their eggs in the bark. Also, cover the top of the netting with foil coated with Vaseline. (Fun fact: Mealybugs are actually a species of scale, but they have legs and are a lot easier to identify!). © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. 3 Avoid using regular house soap. For scales on deciduous plants including edible fruits, a plant oil winter wash (considered organic e.g. The fig tree is under severe stress---being sucked to death by these pests. This isn’t a super common pest for fiddle leaf figs (not as common as mealybugs and spider mites, anyway), but it can happen. Another major agricultural pest is the California Red Scale, Aonidiella aurantii. Along with whiteflies, aphids, mealybugs and scales belong to the suborder Sternorrhyncha of the Hemiptera family. Several pests can cause problems for ficus trees, including the armored dictyospermum scale, black scale and green shield soft scale. Thorough spray coverage is especially critical when treating armored scales and oak pit scales as these scales are generally less susceptible to pesticides than soft scales. Step 3: Treat with Houseplant Leaf Armor (or alcohol or neem oil). You may effectively address minor scale infestation on small ficus trees by rubbing each scale with a cotton swab soaked with rubbing alcohol. United States: Florida. Scale insects can be divided into two groups:Armored (Hard) – Secrete a hard protective covering (1/8 inch long) over themselves, which is not attached to the body. Dip a cotton swab in and dab a little on each scale, which can smother and poison the insects. Regular spraying on the undersides of the leaves (so it comes into direct contact with the scale) will help bring scale insects under control. Copyright © echo date(Y);?> Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource, Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food Moisture Meter, If your infestation is more severe or if the other measures aren’t helping, it’s time to remove infected parts of the plant. Dormant Season To control most scales overwintering on deciduous woody plants, thoroughly spray the … The female will lay her eggs under the shell, which causes the infestation to spread. Frequently, the fruit area around scale insects is dry, woody or discolored or worse--definitely not appealing, tasty or of the usual consistency of a ripe fig. If you notice scale on your fiddle leaf fig (or any of your plants! Most species of scale will park themselves on a leaf or stem and create a hard shell to hide under. To learn more about getting rid of pests, check out our Ultimate Guide to Fiddle Leaf Fig Insect Problems! Scale is far easier to treat if the infestation is light. Honeydew then turns to sooty mold and that interferes with photosynthesis in leaves, and can cause leaf drop and branch die back. Planting a variety of fragrant, flowering ornamental plants and herbs near the ficus helps to attract beneficial scale predators to the area. Repeat the treatment every four to seven days until the scales are gone. Spray horticultural oil or insecticidal soap on the tree to rid it of juvenile scales, called crawlers. Scale insects can infest and damage many of the plants we grow in our landscapes and indoors. Then get … These insects attach to leaves, stems, and even the trunk of your fiddle leaf fig and suck sap out of them. Ficus oozing sap: This condition is caused by sucking pests, usually caused mealybugs and/or scale. If left untreated, scale can stunt your plant’s growth and eventually kill it. Why is my Fiddle Leaf Fig Growing Leaves at the Bottom? They may even spread to other plants! Barnacle Scale are soft scale insects that attack ornamental plants like Holly, Pyracantha, Juniper, Hemlock, Boxwood, Gardenia, and Citrus. They are susceptible to some diseases, but how you grow and manage them can make the difference between a good crop or even the loss of the whole tree. Next winter, just prior to spring growth, spray the branches with a dormant oil spray making sure to get good coverage of all branch surfaces. This will force ants to climb the ficus trunk and get stuck in the sticky material. Prior to the Florida discoveries, the California Department of Food and Agriculture had intercepted specimens from Florida. Wrap the ficus trunk with a thin band of tree wrap or masking tape and coat this wrap with a sticky material designed to trap ants if you suspect that ants are feeding on honeydew produced by soft scales and protecting the scales from predators. Just carefully remove them by hand or with a toothpick. There are many scale insect species that infest ornamental landscape plants. I have more fig trees on the other side of the house that are younger and have not started producing fruit so I am keen to treat the effected tree … The alcohol alone should kill the scale, but the dead insects will remain on your plants and make it difficult for you to scout for new infestations. Facebook: Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource Group. Spray the ficus thoroughly with horticultural oil. How to Treat Scale on Fiddle Leaf Figs As with all issues that affect fiddle leaf figs, it’s best to treat this early. Most fiddle leaf fig owners are well aware of the more pervasive pests that can plague our precious fiddles, but there’s another insect that many plant parents overlook: scale. Look at the tape through a hand lens, examining it for immature scales that are in their active crawler stage and appear as tiny yellow or orange specks. They do not secrete honeydew.Soft – Secrete a waxy film (up to 1/2 inch long) that is part of the body. Yes, there can be scale on fiddle leaf figs. Many other species of w… You can order ladybugs online and let them loose on your fiddle to eat up any lingering pests. Inspect regularly to stop infestations before they start! Use our Houseplant Leaf Armor, designed for houseplants to protect against insects, bacteria, and fungus. Some species of scale can also look like white bumps. In most cases, they are able to move short distances (but rarely do) and produce copious amounts of honeydew. With a pair of clean, sharp pruning shears like these, prune off any infected leaves or stems, and even part of the trunk if necessary (cutting off the trunk may actually encourage growth once the tree recovers!). Soft scale insects attack plants by sucking the sap directly from the phloem. University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Scales, New Mexico State University: Scale Insects on Ficus. Growing Success Winter Tree Wash) can be used. How to Manage Fig Tree Diseases. Wrap transparent, double-sided tape around several branches and twigs where scale activity is suspected in early spring. In this case, you may need to treat the tree several times. The best way to deal with pests is to regularly inspect your plants for actual insects and signs of insects like small dots, webbing, or “honeydew.”. However, none resemble the shape and size of this group of soft scale insect species in shape or size. Major Fungal Diseases of Fig Trees. Chemical treatment is rarely used. These insects can secrete a waxy covering that protects them from the environmen… Clean the pot (or use a new on) and repot with fresh soil. There are pros and cons to this method, so make sure to read our article on that here. Another Fiddle Leaf Fig Victory: Fiddle Leaf Fig Troubleshooting. Here's a close up of the trunk of our olive tree showing the black scales. If your infestation is severe, you may have to use more drastic measures. If most or all of the scales inspected are dead or being parasitized, additional control is generally not warranted and the ficus will recover with good cultural care. You can treat them by spraying all parts of the branches with horticultural oil. Although extensively distributed world-wide, the fig wax scale, Ceroplastes rusci (Linnaeus), was first discovered in Florida at several nursery and stock dealers in 1994 and 1995. University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Ficus, Fig, Indian Laurel, Laurel Fig—Ficus spp. However, by giving your tree some tender loving care, they will reward you with delicious fruit…what could be better? In 1914, the San Jose scale was the first documented scale pest to develop resistance to insecticides. Different species of scale might also produce a clear, sticky substance called “honeydew” which can attract ants, gnats, and flies, and even promote fungal growth. Then treat with Neem oil or horticultural soap per package directions. Now I read that fig trees are pretty tough. If there are only a few scale spots here and there, you can usually pick them off without too much trouble. If your infestation is more severe or if the other measures aren’t helping, it’s time to remove infected parts of the plant. How to Get Rid of Scales on Japanese Maples. The main symptom is sticky, clear secretions being left on the leaves of the infested plant. The best defense against borers is a good offense. There are over 180 species of scale insects in Florida, but only a small percentage are important pests of ornamental plants (Dekle 1976; Hamon and Williams 1984). Suggested Organic Strategies: Spraying to control the scale with Eco-Oil also loosens the black sooty mould making it easier to hose off. The chemicals in pet urine, especially cat urine, can burn your roots and severely damage the tree. Once the number of scale crawlers caught on the tape begins to decline, apply horticultural oil. With a pair of clean, sharp, There are pros and cons to this method, so make sure to read our article on that, To learn more about getting rid of pests, check out our. – Give them a prune … Various species of ficus, members of the genus of the same name, are prized for their foliage and cultivated in the ground or in containers on patios or indoors. These insects don’t really move, so it’s easy to overlook them until your plant starts showing signs that it’s unhappy like yellowing leaves, stunted growth, etc. The adult female of the Florida wax scale grows to about 3 mm (1/8-inch). Of the pathogens that cause problems with fig trees, fungi take the cake. Let’s learn more about some of the most common fig issues affecting these fruit trees. Scale is far easier to treat if the infestation is light. Scale insects are a diverse group of piercing-sucking pests (Hemiptera) commonly found on ornamental plants in landscapes and nurseries. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in urban and regional studies. Spray it with water at a good force to try and knock a few loose. Aspergillus is a fungus that causes the flesh on the inside of the fig to turn green and then powdery. Gently scrape off the scale using your fingernail or an old toothbrush. How To Give Your Fig Tree Some TLC. and infrequently found on other host plants. This can control the overwintering scale nymphs in December-January when the plants are fully dormant; With grape vines, peel away the loose outer bark to expose the scales before treatment Pest infestations don’t have to mean the end for your fiddle leaf fig! If the plant is small enough, wipe every surface of every leaf and stem with rubbing alcohol. Important biological controls are tiny wasp parasitoids that lay their eggs in the scale. 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