Palm Trees Insects – Scale

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

2 thoughts on “Palm Trees Insects – Scale”

  1. I tried chemicals..I tried been and didn’t have any positive results. I did figure out a way to get rid of them all in 20 minutes though without any pesticides.

    I laid the palm down on its side (it was in a pot) and pressure washed it with a 40° wide angle pressure tip using a 3000 Honda pressure washer. I kept the nozzle back from the plant about 16 inches and swept from the base out to the top. Turning the plant and sweeping it again with pressure water. Then I tipped it back up and set it against a wall and kept doing this carefully for about 20 mins. I can not find a single scale on my plant and it only lost 2 leaves..(not full branches.. just individual leaves). It was 30% covered in the brown scale bug. It’s beautiful and clean now.. it did have one shoot that was new coming up that I had to cut because I couldn’t get water into the crevices very well. It worked great and I was just about to toss it into the trash. I’m glad I didn’t. ;) for questions. I think to give it a ornamental spray once a week for a month or so in case I missed larva or something. Woooo hoooo

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