how to get rid of scale on ficus tree

Pests affect houseplants in the same way as garden ones, but it is more difficult to deal with them. Scale insects and mites on potted crops give more generations due to the warm content all year round, and the inept use of chemical protection at home can harm a person. The Ficus scale insect is one of the most unpleasant pests. Even if the problem is noticed in time, to get rid of scale on ficus tree will be long process.

how to get rid of scale on ficus tree

How To Get Rid Of Scale On Ficus Tree?

Even with a weak settlement, chemistry cannot be dispensed with. The only remaining egg is likely to hatch into a female, soon the ficus will be covered with a new colony of insects.

The best result is given by this method: first, the shield and honeydew are removed manually, then they are repeatedly processed.

mechanical method To Get Rid Of Scale On Ficus Tree

The waste products of the pest are removed with a cotton swab moistened with soapy or alcohol solution. Adult insects, firmly “glued” to the ficus, cannot be removed in this way. You can remove them from the leaves, stems, sides of the pot with a soft toothbrush.

It is really possible to do this on rubber-bearing or Lirata ficuses with a small number of large plates, the main thing here is not to damage the vegetative organs with bristles. Even little Benjamin will have to be fiddled with for several hours, and he will lose some of the leaves. We are not even talking about a large copy.

If the owners miss at least one scale insect, larva or egg, the work will go down the drain.

Folk remedies to treat Scale On Ficus Tree

Alcohol, soap, garlic or tobacco infusion from the ficus pest will not be able to release. These funds will kill vagrants and larvae of the second stage, while adults are reliably protected by a wax shell.

An anthill is an effective way to get rid of scale insects. But long, suitable only for people living in the private sector, applicable in the warm season:

  1. Find a place of accumulation of ants on the street. It should be slightly shaded, otherwise you will have to remove the ficus from the direct sun daily.
  2. Put a flower pot on the ground.

The honeydew will attract ants, over time they will remove the shield not only from the plant, but also clean the pot. The main drawback: insects can destroy some pests, but they will bring others, for example, their eternal companions aphids.

What does Ficus benjamina scale look like?

Diaspididae a family of scale insects, consisting of 2400 species, belongs to the Hemiptera order. Widespread in warm and temperate climates. Many species are dangerous pests of indoor, greenhouse plants.

These are small insects with an incomplete development cycle, piercing-sucking mouthparts, bisexual and parthenogenetic (virgin) reproduction. They live in colonies. Males and females are very different:

  • adult females immobile, round, pear-shaped or oval, covered with wax shields of 1 or 2 larval skins, no legs or wings;
  • males fertilize females and die, they do not have a mouth apparatus, but they have limbs, wings.

Most species of scale insects are capable of asexual reproduction. Some males have none at all.

Diaspididae or scale insect Development cycle:

  1. The egg is small and poorly visible to the naked eye, the shape and color depend on the species.
  2. Tramps (1st instar larvae) in different sexes are similar and mobile. The body is elongated, there are eyes, antennae, and 6 legs.
  3. Larvae of the II age in males stop moving and do not feed. Women lose limbs, antennae, and eyes.
  4. Sexually mature insects (adults) mate, males, die immediately, females – after laying eggs.

The full cycle of most scale species is about 1 year. The duration of each stage of development depends on the species, on average:

  • eggs – from a few minutes (tramps come out immediately) or a day in the pseudo-Californian scale insect, up to 9-10 months (Apple);
  • larvae – 9-11 months and 35-50 days, respectively;
  • female individuals – 50-90, male – 1-3 days.

For a year, the scale insect gives 1-4 generations. This does not mean that the pest is slowly spreading – each female lays an average of 50-100 eggs, most of which hatch into female insects.

Ficus scale insects can belong to different species, but with a high probability they will be:

  1. False California or oyster (Diaspidiotus ostreaeformis), resembling a shell. Body length up to 1 mm, shield – 1.7-2.2 mm, fertility – 20-80 eggs.
  2. Apple comma-shaped (Lepidosaphes ulmi), has 2 forms. On ornamental crops, including ficuses, bisexual is common. Females up to 1.4 mm, shield – 3-4 mm, looks like a brown comma. Ovipositor – 50-100 pieces.
  3. Brown (Chrysomphalus dictyospermi). In adult females, the scutes are round, up to 2 mm, corresponding to the name of the color, with a white swelling in the center surrounded by a dark ring.

It does not really matter for amateur flower growers which type of scab has populated ficuses. They do the same damage, the means of struggle do not differ.

Damage to ficus tree by scale insects

Adult females and larvae of scale insects feed on plant sap. They pierce the vegetative organs with a proboscis, causing pathological changes in tissues. Pests start with ficus leaves, petioles, young shoots. Branches covered with bark are the last to populate, with a strong spread.

Roots are rarely affected by insects, but they can hide in the upper layer of the substrate.

Damage to ficus scale insects is significant:

  • yellow spots appear at the puncture sites, merging with time;
  • dry out, die first leaves, then whole branches;
  • pests secrete honeydew, covering the organs of vegetation and interfering with photosynthesis;
  • the scab spreads quickly, in a short time it can lead to the death of the ficus;
  • sweet liquid serves as a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria, attracts other pests.

For example, on Benjamin’s ficus infected with a scab and taken outside in the summer, a sooty fungus is likely to appear, and it will have to be treated.

How to recognize Scale On Ficus Benjamina Tree?

The scale insect is well known from the photo, but the owners often find the pest when the females and larvae literally stuck around the vegetative organs.

how to recognize scale on ficus benjamina tree

Ficus requires close attention:

  • if the plates turn yellow, turn brown, or light spots appear on them;
  • damaged leaves do not increase in size, but eventually curl, and dry;
  • branches are exposed;
  • ficus dries out;
  • sticky discharge appeared.

This is exactly a scale insect if insects are found on the plant:

  • sedentary, not flying, covered with a wax coating;
  • rounded or oval, several mm long;
  • at the initial stage, they are attached along the veins on the reverse side of the leaf, petioles;
  • they look like outgrowths, it is impossible to remove them with a finger, you need to scrape them off with a fingernail.

Why Scale On Ficus Tree appears?

In the collection of indoor flowers, the scale insect usually falls due to an infected, non-quarantined new plant. Rarely:

  • brought from the street on hands, people’s clothes, pet hair;
  • vagrants can fly in when airing with air currents;
  • pests at different stages of development enter the house with a dirty garden tool.

Even less often, poorly cultivated garden soil used for planting ficuses becomes the cause of infection with a scab. But it is easy to bring it from a greenhouse or greenhouse with citrus fruits, peppers, and ornamental or aromatic crops.

Conclusion: Prevention of ficus scale

We have shown you above how To Get Rid Of Scale On Ficus Tree? Insecticide treatment of indoor plants for preventive purposes is not carried out. Therefore, new specimens must be quarantined separately from the main collection for at least 14 days.

Trees should be cut with a sterile tool, after the street, before “talking” with ficuses, you need to wash your hands, it is better to buy a substrate in a store. And check the flowers regularly.

I am an avid plant enthusiast and horticulture aficionado with a deep passion for houseplants. With years of nurturing green companions, my expertise in caring for indoor foliage is well-rooted. Through my journey, I've cultivated insights into optimal plant care, propagation techniques, and creating vibrant indoor ecosystems. Join me as we explore the verdant world of houseplants together. Let's turn your living space into a thriving oasis of botanical beauty. Connect with me on and Facebook and explore more at Houseplantspro. 🌿🪴