Pest Control Companies Long Beach – What are Black Scales?

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Pest control companies Long Beach often get to deal with black scale. The black scale is a soft scale insect that is believed to have originated from the Southern part of Africa. It is today a common horticultural and agricultural pest in Southern Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The insect is believed to have been introduced in California prior to the 1880s. It is currently an economic pest more so when it comes to citrus and olive. The black scale is a damaging soft scale insect. Its main hosts include coyote brush, almond, grape, olive, peppertree, rose, maple, fig, poplar, strawberry tree, citrus, apple, aspen, oleander and plum.

Identification
When embarking in pest control Long Beach, it is imperative that you first identify the pest. With the black scale, the female is the easiest pest to identify. Identification is done by shape, size and color. The female is large and measures about 1/5 of an inch in length and 1/8 inches in width. They are dark brown to black in color. You can identify the infestation of the black scale by the sooty mold fungus. These insects usually produce honeydew that is left on the plants. It is the honeydew that causes the growth of sooty mold.

Life cycle
In a year, the black scale will have a maximum of two generations. You will find the second generations in the coastal regions since there is more humidity here. In other areas, the insect will only have a single generation annually. The reproduction of the black scale is parthenogenic. What this means is that the female will not need to mate with a male to reproduce. The mature female can lay more than 2,000 eggs. The eggs change in color from pale yellow to orange as they mature. A hatching egg can take several weeks to complete because the eggs are usually laid under the body of the adult.

Damage
The main problem caused by the black scale is that of impacting the productivity of plants. It is for this reason you should contact pest control companies Long Beach to help with management before these pests cause irreversible damages. The black scale is more harmful on olive trees. Honeydew which is produced by these pests will further impede photosynthesis hence leading to defoliation. Honeydew further impacts the aesthetic value of a landscape and makes harvesting hard. The quality of the fruits will also be affected. The honeydew will also attract other pests like fruit flies.

Management
The best approach in the control of black scale is the combination of cultural biological and chemical strategies. If done properly by competent pest control companies Long Beach, biological solutions can be effective enough to eliminate the black scale naturally. Cultural control focuses on the elimination of the nymph. This is done by exposing the nymph to extreme dryness.

Pest control companies Long Beach

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