Con­cerned about strange crea­tures

Amateur Gardening - - Ask John Negus -

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

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