Plants and Problem-Solving – Eradicating Scale on Houseplants

scale 1

I don’t know how I missed it for so long. By the time I saw the shiny residue on the arrowhead plant, scale insects had already infested at least half the leaves and stems.

scale 2

I took a closer look on the underside of a leaf to be sure…yup…scale. Yuck! For more information on scale insects check out this site: Scale Insect Pests

scale 3

I don’t like to use harsh chemicals on my plants. I have grandchildren and two cats. I also attempt to keep products I use as organic as possible. I decided to try rubbing alcohol to treat the scale, a good treatment I have used in the past on mealy bugs and other insect pests.

scale 4

Using a cotton swab, I dipped in alcohol and swiped the legions of scale off the plant. I checked every leaf and stem. When I was finished I removed any leaves yellowed by the insects. I also dipped the plant beneath tepid running water from the faucet. The alcohol kills the insect pests on contact. If you leave it on the plant too long it could cause damage, especially to tender new growth.

I will keep a close watch on the plant. It is also a good idea to remove it from close contact with other plants, and to disinfect the surface it stood upon, and any drip saucers beneath its pot.

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4 thoughts on “Plants and Problem-Solving – Eradicating Scale on Houseplants

    1. Scale is usually one pest I have good luck removing…so although I am not sure about that exact plant…I would have to say most likely…I still have that shaped leaf in my plant collection…a type of philodendron I believe. Scale is easy to see and also feel as it leaves sticky residue on the plant. I usually see, or feel, scale before it is too late to save the plant.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Margarita

    I had scale and got rid of it very simply by: washing the leaves over and under with vinegar and water and posting a sticky tape to catch the flying insects when they pop out of the scales. And it is all gone.

    Liked by 1 person

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