White Peach Scale and White Prunicola Scale

White peach scale, Pseudaulacaspis pentagona, and white prunicola scale, Pseudaulacaspis prunicola, are important economic pests of peach trees, as well as other woody ornamentals in the southeastern United States.  These scales can significantly reduce fruit production and kill trees in as little as two years.  Although these hard scales are found primarily in the southeastern United States, both have been found as far west as Texas, and as far north as Maine.

Treatment Strategy

Control of white peach scale and white prunicola scale are difficult because once the scale begins to create its waxy covering, contact insecticides will not work.

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White Peach Scale and White Prunicola Scale Treatment Option 1

Once eggs hatch, contact insecticides such as Up Star Gold®  tank-mixed with 0.5% RTSA Horticultural Oil can be effective in controlling feeding crawlers.  These treatments should start when leaves begin emerging in the spring.  Retreatments should occur every four to six weeks during the growing season.

Application MethodFoliar spray

DIY Equipment/Product Needed:

Up Star Gold®

RTSA Horticultural Oil

• Hand pump sprayer with wand

• Protective gloves

• Safety glasses

White Peach Scale and White Prunicola Scale Treatment Option 2

Transtect is applied to the soil and will provide a quick knockdown (within 2 weeks). It has a residual of at least 90 days, and should be applied in the spring.

Application Type – Soil drench

DIY Product/Equipment Needed:

• Transtect

• Measuring or diameter tape

• Gloves

• Soil Drench: Bucket, watering can or soil drench kit

White Peach Scale and White Prunicola Scale DIY Kit

Option 1

Application Method – Foliar spray

DIY Equipment/Product Needed:

• Up Star Gold®

• RTSA Horticultural Oil

• Hand pump sprayer with wand

• Protective gloves

• Safety glasses

Option 2

Application Type – Soil drench

DIY Product/Equipment Needed:

• Transtect

• Measuring or diameter tape

• Gloves

• Soil Drench: Bucket, watering can or soil drench kit

How Is It Spread?

Biology

In the northern states, white peach scale has only two generations per year. However, in the southern states as many as four may occur.  Adult females overwinter and lay eggs in the spring underneath their waxy covering.  Nymphs hatch in about four days, beginning to feed until they reach maturity.  Adult females develop in about 12 days, whereas winged males take about 5 days.

Susceptible Trees

Prunus species, peach chinaberry, flowering peach, French mulberry and persimmon are the primary trees attacked.  Other trees can include catalpa, lilac, privet, and walnut.

Symptoms

  • Leaves of infested trees may become sparse and yellow.  Fruit size can be reduced and premature fruit drop is likely.
  • Heavy infestations can result in the death of twigs, branches, and even entire trees within two to three years.
  • If visible, insects are white cottony masses encrusting the bark of the tree.

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