battling scale on the citrus fruit

it might look beautiful,

but this webbing is the sure sign of a scale infestation.  i expect to have to deal with such a problem at least once a year.  the citrus trees seems especially prone, and so i have been looking for it.

scale is a sap sucking insect which covers its self in a waxy covering, making it resemble a scale on a fish – hence the name.  they can cause quite a bit of damage to plants, though only kill them if allowed to go unchecked.  excessive scale can result in the plants losing leaves and their ability to photosynthesize.   scale seems to take over in these midwinter months when the plants have been inside without natural insect predators to keep them in check.

i have many childhood memories of my mother battling scale with rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs in hand.

i don’t see any reason to break with tradition, i too dip the swabs in alcohol and rub each of the little scale off, taking a wet rag and wiping them down after to remove left over scale and remove the residual alcohol.

in spite of all the scale, the oranges seem to be doing well being almost ripe.  nothing seems to brighten the end of winter like some home-grown citrus.

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5 responses to “battling scale on the citrus fruit

  1. I have had some luck with prevention. I spray a weak dish soap and water solution to which I have added a quarter piece of aspirin. It won’t help with the current infestation, but might prevent the scale from spreading. This is the first year that I have not had scale on my plants and I owe it to regular misting with the soap and aspirin solution.

  2. Great tip! I think Jen uses Neem Oil as well as alcohol. That stuff is hard to get rid of.

  3. Any chance we could get a picture of the entire tree? Love the idea of an orange tree growing in Detroit!

    • it’s not much to be too impressed with. it’s not really even a tree, it’s only about 4 feet tall, but perhaps a images of the indoor garden when it goes outside for the summer.

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