TREES AND SHRUBS ATTACKED BY PINE NEEDLE SCALE
Almost all pine tree or pine shrub species and many species of spruce are susceptible to Pine Needle Scale attack. This scale has also been found on Cedar, Concolor Fir, Douglas-fir, Eastern Red Cedar, and Hemlock.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF PINE NEEDLE SCALE
Look for small, white flecks on individual needles. A high population of Pine Needle Scale insects may cause dead shoots, grayish-green discolored foliage, reduced plant vigor, or sparse foliage.
LIFECYCLE OF PINE NEEDLE SCALE
Scale eggs overwinter beneath dead, female scale insects. Newly hatched scale insects are mobile and are called crawlers. Hatching usually occurs around mid-May, about the time Lilac shrubs start blooming. The crawlers move to a feeding site on the host plant or can be transported to a new host by animals, birds, or the wind. Scale insects secrete a protective waxy coating as they feed and mature around early July. A second generation of crawlers is produced around mid-July.
HOW TO CONTROL PINE NEEDLE SCALE
Trees and shrubs susceptible to Pine Needle Scale should be inspected in the early spring – preferably before Lilac shrubs bloom. Infestations often start on the lower third of a plant. If there is only a small population of scale insects present, and predator insects such as ladybugs or lacewings are present, and insecticide treatment may not be necessary.