University of Maryland Extension

Armored Scales - Groundcovers

euonymus scale on pachysandra
Euonymus scale on pachysandra.

Scales are sucking insects that attack groundcovers such as lirope and pachysandra. Heavy infestations may cause leaf yellowing, stunting and dieback. Armored scales are small, about one-eighth inch, flat, disk-like, circular, elongate or oystershell shaped. The color is variable. They are found on leaves and stems and can be scraped off. They do not produce honeydew. Examples of armored scales that may be found on groundcovers include fern scale, and euonymus scale and oystershell scale.

Management: To control armored scale infestations, remove/trim back plants/vines with severe symptoms. Parasites generally provide control of many scale infestations. To protect parasites, avoid spraying with insecticides during the summer. If treatment is necessary, spray the shrub with a dormant rate of horticultural oil during the dormant season to control overwintering scales.

Photo Gallery

fernscale on lirope
Fernscale on lirope.
euonymus scale on lirope
Euonymus scale.
euonymus scale close-up
Euonymus scale close-up.
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