Concerned about strange creatures
QWhat is this infesting my son’s shrub? I’ve never seen anything like it. Linda Griffin, via email
AThe leaves have been infested with a pest called cushion scale, which is a particular problem on evergreen plants. The white things are the egg masses of this insect.
Scale insects are a troublesome pest as they suck leaf sap, eventually damaging leaves and weakening growth. This pest comes with side effects in that the honeydew it exudes gets colonised by a fungus called sooty mould, which turns leaf surfaces black. This can be rubbed off, but until the scale
is dealt with it will continue to return. The best way to do this is by spraying with insecticide and there are a number of products that should be suitable.
These include Bayer Provado Ultimate Bug Killer concentrate, Bug Clear Ultra, Bayer Sprayday Greenfly Killer, Westland Resolva Bug Killer, Growing Success Fruit & Veg Bug Killer, Vitax Organic Pest & Disease Control Concentrate, Bug Clear for Fruit & Veg, Bayer Organic Bug Free and Doff Greenfly and Blackfly Killer.
Cushion scale insects also cause sooty mould on leaves