TREATING SCALE AND SOOTY MOULD
A neglected hedge attracts pests, in this case scale and sooty mould. Scale are sap-sucking insects that generally invade a plant that is already weak. These tiny creatures secrete a sweet substance called honey-dew that ants love. In fact, ants are scale herders. So first, get rid of the ants by pouring ant-killer at the base of the plant. Then use insecticide on the plant to get rid of the scale. Sooty mould is a type of black fungus and is a secondary infection to the scale. Once you’ve disposed of the scale, wash off the mould with diluted detergent.