There is a new murderer here in Texas, but not in the way you might think. It isn’t people who are in danger, but rather trees. Tiny pests called bark scale have been finding their way across our beautiful state, sucking the life out of trees everywhere they go. Over the past few years, this pest problem has become more apparent. If you have been noticing unusual white patterns on trees in your yard, or lifeless looking plants on your property, you could be dealing with bark scale yourself. To find out for certain, let’s unravel the mystery behind bark scale a bit and find out if they are what is causing trouble around your property.
What Are Bark Scale?
Originating in Asia and moving to the states around 2004, bark scale is a sucking insect that feeds off the sap of trees and other plants. As their name would suggest, bark scale are found almost exclusively on bark. As it feeds, bark scale secretes a viscous substance known as honeydew.
This process is very similar to what aphids do. As populations of bark scale rise on trees and plants honeydew increases. This thick honeydew coats trunks and leaves and turns black with time. Once aged this dew can be colonized with a smorgasbord of fungi, known as sooty mold. As you can guess this is extremely unhealthy for the tree itself. Additionally, bark scale and their secretions can make trees look ugly.
Bark scale goes through several stages of development before reaching adulthood. A single female bark scale can lay between 114 and 320 eggs in her lifetime. That being said, it is easy to see how these pests can get out of hand really quickly. To date, bark scale can be found all the way up as high as Kansas and Virginia and is showing no signs of stopping. To spread over short distances bark scale can hitch a ride on birds, mammals, and even other larger flying insects. They can also use strong gusts of wind to carry them from tree to tree. For longer distances of travel, it is likely bark scale use human transport on plant nursery material.
Here are all the trees bark scale are known to be found on:
- Littleleaf Boxwood
- Chinese Hackberry
- Common Fig
- Mallotus Japonicus
- Indian Rosewood
- Border Privet
How To Identify Bark Scale
Identifying bark scale is quite simple. If you see white soft looking pests stuck to trees in your yard, poke one with a toothpick. If pink goo or eggs spill out, it is most likely a bark scale. Bark scale can also be identified by a trained pest professional. If you want to know for certain if the trees in your yard have bark scale, the experts here at Innovative Pest Control would be happy to have a look.
How We Can Help You Manage Bark Scale On Your Property
If you suspect trees on your property are being killed by bark scale, the professionals here at Innovative Pest Control would like to offer our assistance. Using only the most effective methods our team can put in place a reliable solution for your bark scale problems. Are you ready to get your trees back to how they once were? We are here to help. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we treat bark scale, or for any other pest related problems you want to be addressed around your home.