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Eco-friendly Control of Scale Insects on Houseplants

Bumps on the leaves and stems of your houseplants may mean scale insects have moved in and are feeding on your houseplants.

Scale insects suck plant juices, causing leaves to yellow, brown and become distorted. These pests secrete a clear sticky substance like other sucking insects, called honeydew.  Large populations can eventually weaken and even kill some plants. 

You will need to be persistent to control these pests.  Their hard shells are impervious to most pesticides.

Start by gently scraping the hard shelled insects off the plants with an old toothbrush or your thumbnail. Check the upper and lower leaf surfaces and along the stems. This is a tedious job that you may want to do while watching your favorite TV show or movie. 

Then spray the plant with insecticidal soap to kill the immature insects that have not yet formed their hard pesticide-resistant shells. Repeat weekly.

A bit more information:  Mealy bugs are a type of soft bodied scale.  Their white fuzzy covering protects it from pesticides.  Use insecticidal soap to control the immature stage of mealy bugs and scale.

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