In the spring, the scale insects mainly attack young tender growth, but move to the branches just before winter. Often eggs will be laid on the branches and when they hatch in the spring, the larvae will seek out the young growth.
This summer I began to paint the scale insects on my citrus trees with dish detergent - the cheapest brand I could find. Everywhere I saw scale, I coated it with
Even the most stunted tress have doubled in size this year and they are full of fruit. I also used old spice jars to make ant bait traps (attach them in the trees out of reach of children), with mixture of boric acid and sugar to reduce the ant population.
I can do this in California because we seldom have rain in the summer which would wash away the detergent. This winter I will be closely watching the trees to see whether or not they are re-infested. I anticipate needing to use the detergent on a regular basis as this is controlling, and not eradicating the scale insects. If you live in an area where the weather permits you to try this, please do so and let me know how it works for you. JRodgers
For more information and to identify scale insect pests, check on these websites:
Photo Credit: WSU.Edu