Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Azalea Bark Scale
Female Azalea Bark Scale are approximately 1/8-inch long and covered with a white, waxy egg sac. Eggs are laid in the spring and hatch from late-June to mid-July. These mobile immatures are known as "crawlers". The crawlers like to attach to the bark and feed in crevices and branch forks. This pest overwinters as a nymph (immature). Scales insert their piercing-sucking mouth parts into the plant and feed on the juices. A large population will cause leaf discoloration, some die back and an overall unthrifty plant appearance. These scales excrete a sticky, sweet liquid called "honeydew" which promotes the growth of black sooty mold fungus on contaminated surfaces. Beneficial insects often control this pest. When the scales become noticeable, treat with Bayer Advanced AC&R, for effective control.