Articles on: Pest Control

My mango tree has scales insects. What can I do?

Mango tree with scales insect infestation

Scales are tiny, immobile insects that resemble shells and are commonly found on the surfaces of leaves, stems, or fruits. They come in flat or pear-shaped forms and can be either white or grey. Various types of scales exist, occupying both the upper and lower surfaces of leaves. The female scale lays anywhere from 80 to 200 eggs, with the number influenced by temperature. Upon hatching, approximately 80% of the newly emerged crawlers develop into males. Their life cycle spans 35 to 40 days during the summer or 70 to 85 days in winter.

The presence of mango scale can be observed throughout the year due to overlapping generations. The most opportune times to address the issue are during the flowering season in spring or during harvest time. Scales have the potential to harm trees by extracting sap and releasing toxins. Affected areas typically exhibit pale green or yellow leaves that eventually wither and die.

How to get rid of scales?

Option 1
Effective scale management involves pruning to reduce the scale population and create openings in the canopy for better spray penetration and sunlight exposure. Natural predators such as ladybugs and lacewings can be beneficial in controlling the young larval or crawler stage.

Option 2
To control scale infestations, the application of systemic pesticides or mineral oil through spraying proves effective. Chemical control should be employed when the scale population is low to prevent population growth, and only if monitoring indicates significant live scale activity.

Updated on: 06/18/2023

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