How do you treat white scale on aloes?

Answered by John Hunt

To treat white scale on aloes, you can create a homemade solution using cooking oil or neem oil, along with washing up liquid. This solution helps to suffocate and kill the scale insects, while the washing up liquid helps to break down their protective coating. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to treat white scale on aloes:

1. Mix the solution: In a spray bottle, combine a small amount of cooking oil or neem oil with a few drops of washing up liquid. The exact measurements may vary, but a general guideline is to use about 1-2 tablespoons of oil and a teaspoon of washing up liquid for every liter of water.

2. Dilute with water: Fill the spray bottle with water, leaving some space at the top. Gently shake the bottle to ensure that the oil and washing up liquid are well mixed with the water.

3. Spray the affected plants: Identify the areas of your aloes that are infested with white scale. Spray the solution directly onto the affected areas, making sure to thoroughly cover both the tops and undersides of the leaves. Repeat this process every 1-2 days for effective control.

4. Focus on hard-to-reach areas: Pay extra attention to areas where the scale insects tend to congregate, such as leaf axils and leaf joints. These hidden spots are often overlooked but can harbor a large number of scales.

5. Monitor and repeat treatment: Keep an eye on your aloes to see if the white scale population is decreasing. It may take several treatments to fully eradicate the infestation. If the problem persists after a few weeks, you may need to consider alternative methods or seek professional advice.

Here are a few additional tips to help you combat white scale on aloes:

– Prune heavily infested leaves: If certain leaves are heavily covered in scale, it may be best to prune them off entirely. This can help reduce the overall scale population and prevent the infestation from spreading further.

– Improve plant health: Stressed or weakened plants are more susceptible to scale infestations. Ensure that your aloes are receiving adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients to promote their overall health and resilience.

– Maintain cleanliness: Regularly remove fallen leaves, debris, and dead plant material from around your aloes. This can help reduce the hiding places for scale insects and prevent future infestations.

– Consider using natural predators: Some beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, feed on scale insects. Introducing these natural predators to your garden can help control the scale population naturally.

It’s important to note that while the oil and washing up liquid solution can be effective against scale insects, it may also harm beneficial insects and some tender plant species. Always test the solution on a small area of the plant first and monitor for any adverse effects before applying it to the entire plant.