Fighting scale insects: With these tips you will get rid of the annoying pests!

Scale insects are tiny insects that can affect both garden plants and houseplants. They feed on plant sap and can cause serious damage over time, such as the death of whole leaves and branches. It is therefore very important to recognize and remove scale insects as early as possible. How can you fight scale insects? That’s what today’s post is about. Continue reading…

Fighting scale insects – a complex task

Scale insects fight affected leaves

What do scale insects look like?

There are over 7,000 different types of scale insects that can vary in size, shape and color. The smallest are almost invisible approx. 0.1 cm and the larger ones can reach 0.5 cm. Therefore, scale insects are very difficult to see with the naked eye.

Scale insects look like small brown spots or bumps that are unable to move.

They can be round, oval or flat and their color can range from brown to tan to white.

The first step is to recognize scale insects

Scale insects combat leaf underside




Scale insects love warmth and moisture. They particularly like closed and humid environments and especially high temperatures. They cannot develop outdoors in winter, but they can occur on houseplants all year round.

How do you recognize a scale insect infestation?

  • cotton-like stains on leaves and stems (especially in hidden places)
  • slow plant growth
  • Death of leaf buds and leaf tips
  • Heavily infested leaves die and fall off
  • The leaves are gnarled, twisted, curled and stunted

Excessive infestation can kill the plant

Control scale insects by spraying affected leaves

Which plants are often attacked by scale insects?

Some types of scale insect attack only one plant species, while others feed on many different plant species.

However, there are plants that are more susceptible to scale insect infestation. Houseplants such as ficus, hibiscus, orchids, roses and even succulent-like plants such as zamioculcas and aloe vera are more easily infected. Among the garden plants, the citrus trees are particularly susceptible to scale insects. Other garden plants that are often attacked by scale insects are linden trees, hydrangeas, oleanders, lilacs, olive trees, mulberry trees, red currants, peach trees. The apple tree, however, is less frequently attacked.

Citrus trees are more susceptible to scale insects

Fighting scale insects are more susceptible



Effective and timely treatment for scale insects helps to limit the spread to other plants in your home or garden.

Don’t let the scale insects spread to your plants

Detect and combat scale insects

How can you fight scale insects?

You can remove scale insects by hand, but this method is not the quickest or easiest option.

You can prune heavily affected branches of trees and shrubs. However, improper pruning can permanently damage the plants. Therefore it is important to be careful when cutting back.

You can fight the spread of scale insects with a powerful water jet. However, you have to repeat this several times over the course of a few days.

You can carefully cut off affected branches

Fighting scale insects pruning affected garden trees

You can also wipe the affected plant leaves with a cloth dipped in 90% alcohol and then rinse them with water. However, several treatments are necessary. Even if you have killed all adult scale insects, the eggs are tiny and easily overlooked.

Treat the affected plants with neem oil

Detect and combat scale insects

Another alternative is to use neem oil. This is a natural insecticide and is very effective in fighting both scale insects and other pests such as aphids and spider mites.

This is how you can fight Schilläusen naturally

Scale insects fight solution with neem oil

However, you can make and use a natural and organic insect spray yourself. To get there, get the following ingredients and mix them well:

  • 1 liter of water
  • one teaspoon of dish soap, vegetable oil (neem oil) and 90 percent alcohol

Spray the affected plants with the prepared solution once a day for 3 to 4 days.

If you are dealing with an excessive infestation of lice, then you actually have to remove all infected branches.

Spray the infected plants for a few days in a row

Control scale insects and spray garden plants

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