If you found a lot of little circular, brown colored scales on your palm tree you are in trouble. It’s called “palm leaf scales”. You would never guess but palm leaf scales are actually a mature female small insect. They literally are just a small headless, legless bump and once the female has matured, it is unable to move from where it has planted itself. These small brown bumps tend to focus on new fronds. Palm leaf scales damage the palm tree by inserting a straw like appendage into the palm tree and sucking the fluids out. One scale will not hurt a palm tree but as they multiply, the sheer numbers can slowly kill the palm tree. They are both common and damaging to palms and are very difficult to kill.
Palm Trees Treatment
Palm leaf scales are very difficult to get rid of but it can be done. Typical treatment for palm scale is to repeatedly spray the palm tree leaves with horticultural oil or a mixture of equal parts rubbing alcohol and water mixed with some dish soap. If you have the patience, you can paint straight rubbing alcohol onto each scale individually. Here is what you need to do:
1. Get yourself a small spray bottle, some rubbing alcohol and some dish soap.
2. Mix up equal parts rubbing alcohol and soapy water.
3. Now what? Yeah. Go spray your palm tree thoroughly.
This will slow the scale down and you will definitely see a difference in the number of scales on your palm tree but keep in mind they are really hard to kill. To get rid of them completely I use Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap. This spray always worked for me on all kind of scale insects. It’s organic formula will help you get rid of mealybugs but won’t harm beneficial insects. Just spray entire palm with this solution once a week for few weeks. Hope this helps. ~ Susan