Scale on Ilex and Dogwood

Asked March 29, 2018, 3:00 PM EDT

i have a growing infestation of what I think is scale on my 4 ilex which I know see on my dogwoods, photo attached. I have tried neem oil without too much positive response. The ilex are a focal point in my front garden. I am concerned they will continue to affect other plants as they have nearby dogwoods. Should I dig up and dispose? Also the Ilex were planted May 2016 and I noticed the scale on one plant late last summer. If I remove and plant new should I take any additional precautions

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Yes, these scales will get on other plants. They have many host plants.

The dogwood has Indian wax scale (also known as Japanese wax scale). Since they are easy to see and you don't seem to have too many, the easiest thing to do is simply knock them off. If you see what looks like raspberry jelly inside then they are alive. If brown, they're dead. They are a southern pest that is moving north since we are not have winters in the single digits for enough days to kill them.
If you need to spray, wait until the crawlers have hatched in mid-June (pull off scale and look underneath--eggs are sand-size particles, pinkish). Then spray all twigs and branches thoroughly with a labeled insecticide

The holly has Japanese maple scale. Here is a webpage that links to a fact sheet with thorough information and control options: You might want to consider returning the plants that apparently we infested when you bought them.