Our magnolia bush is infected with something. So many bees around & looks...

Asked September 21, 2019, 3:44 PM EDT

Our magnolia bush is infected with something. So many bees around & looks like little bubbles on the branches & white scales on back of leaves. Do I need to get rid of this bush?

New Castle County Delaware

1 Response

The tree/shrub is infested with magnoila/tuliptree scales. These are one of the largest soft scale species we have in the U.S. An application of horticultural oil (3-4% v/v) once the plant has gone dormant followed by a soil application with one of the systemic neonicotinoids (a.i.s = imidacloprid, thiomethoxam, clothianidin, or dinotefuran) next spring should provide some level of control to help the plant. An application of horticultural oil (1-2% v/v) next mid-August should help follow-up controlling some of the scales missed by previous applications. The scale produces copious amounts of honeydew which contains sugars the flies, wasps, bees, ants and other insects are attracted to as a readily available food source. This scale is one of the easier scale species to control, but requires vigilance and consistent effort. Products mentioned above are available at garden centers or box stores. Good luck.