Scale On Monstera (6 Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Them)
Scale is one of the hardest bugs to remove from a plant. Read on to learn how to get rid of scale on monstera.
Monstera plants are considered to be hardy plants that are very hard to kill. But, that doesn’t mean they are invisible to bugs and pests.
One of the most commonly seen bugs on a monstera plant is scale insects.
If you are really concerned about the scale on your monstera, don’t be.
In this article, I will walk you through everything you need to know about scale on monstera. The topics include,
- What Are Scales?
- Types Of Scales
- How To Identify Scale On Monstera?
- How To Remove Scale On Monstera?
- Lot’s more.
Let’s get started.
What Are Scale Insects?
Scales are tiny sap-sucking insects of the order Hemiptera.
All the insects that come under Hemiptera are called true bugs and that makes scientists call scale a bug instead of an insect in most of the research papers.
Scale bugs are commonly seen under the leaves, stems and branches of ornamental plants, outdoor trees, etc.
Scale insects suck the sap from plant tissues with their piercing-sucking mouthparts. A plant’s growth may be impeded, its leaves may develop yellow or brown spots and part or all of the leaves may fall off if a large number of these insects assault it.
One of the most dominant difference between scale and other plant bugs is that, scale bugs are mostly immovable throughout their majority of lifecycle.
When they hatch from egg, they have legs and are capable of moving. This stage is called crawler stage and this is the stage when it’s very easy to kill.
Once the crawlers find a spot to suck from leaves, they will settle there and they will not be moving for their rest of the lives.
As they turn to adults their complete body is coverd by a shell like strucyite made from their own excreta which acts as a protecting shield fro the external predators.
This protective shield is very effective in protecting them from mild pesticides as well. And that is the reason why scale on monstera is one of the hardest pest to remove.
Identify Scale On Monstera – Different Types
Thre are over 8000 species of scale bugs are recorded. It is practically impossible to know about each of them.
But the most commonly seen scale bugs on indoor plants are aromoured scale and soft scale. Among these two, brown soft scale is the one that is commonly seen in monstera plant.
Armoured scales are the ones that have proper shell like protective cover which is formed by their secretion. They are very small, typically 1/16 to ⅛ inch long.
Eventhough they are very small, you will find them easily because they exist in clusters.
Armoured scales have proper legs, but most of the time they are invisible sue to the outer protective shield.
They are seen in many colors, but most commonl colors are yellowish brown with a green tint.
Bron Soft Scale
Soft scales have raised or bumpy structure with dome or oval to round shape. They are slightly larger than armoured scale with 1/8 to 1/4 inch long dimensions.
Their bodies do not have a shell-like coating, unlike armoured scales. Instead, they secrete homeydue like waxy secretions that make their bodies fluffy and bumpy.
Another difference between armored and soft scales is the legs. Armored scales have proper legs, but as they grow the legs of soft scale reduces. When they are mature, they don’t have proper legs.
How To Remove Scale On Monstera?
Of all the different bugs that affect your monstera plant, scale bugs are the hardest ones to remove. It is mainly due to its protective shell which makes the insecticides very less effective.
Still, there are many ways you can try to remove scale on monstera plants. But, before trying to remove the bugs, you must analyze the severity of the infection.
If the scale on monstera is very dense, then it is very hard to remove. Most of the time, highly affected plants are disposed of completely in greenhouses as well.
On the other hand, if the infection is very less or moderate, then you can try any of the following measures.
Please keep in mind that. ff you find scale on monstera, then immediately move your plant to a spot where there are no other plants. Because during the crawler stage scale bugs will move from one plant to other to settle down.
1. Clean with water
If the infection is in the beginning stage or to be precise when the eggs are hatching and are transitioning to the crawler stage, then cleaning with water is enough to remove scale on monstera.
But remember, this method usually removes only the crawler stage scale. Water alone cannot be used to remove the adult scale on monstera.
2. Rubbing Alcohol using cotton swabs
This method is also suitable only if you have very few infected leaves.
Take a cotton swab and soak it in alcohol and then clean the scale affected leaves one by one. While wiping using alcohol cotton swab, scale insects will be killed most of the time.
3. Insecticidal soaps
Insecticidal soaps are a very good option when the scale bugs are in the crawler stage. Just like cleaning with water, you have to spray the insecticidal soap solution directly on top of the scale on monstera.
4. Horticultural oils
Horticultural oils are either petroleum-based oils or some vegetable oils with pest removing capability.
Based on the instructions provided in the Horticultural Oil, dilute the oil with water. Fill it in a spray bottle and spray on top of the bugs directly.
Crawler Scales can be easily killed with this setup, and with higher concentration, you can even remove matured scale on monstera.
If you are using petroleum-based horticultural oil, don’t increase the concentration too much, because it may burn your monstera leaves. The same applies to insecticidal soaps as well.
5. Neem oil
If you don’t want to use horticultural oil, then neem oil is a good natural pest repellent.
Azadirachtin, an enzyme present in the neem oil is a natural pest killer. Additionally, the thickness of the neem oil will suffocate the scale and it will die eventually.
6. Introduce beneficial insects
If you have your monstera outdoors, then introducing beneficial insects is a great choice to remove scale on the monstera plant.
Some of the most commonly used beneficial insects are ladybugs and beetles. To introduce them into your garden, either you can naturally attract them by feeding them food or purchase and release them into your garden.
Fighting the pests is one of the hardest things in gardening. Eventhough you do everything right, pests will always find a way to your beautiful plants.
Among all, scale is one of the most diffiecult bugs to remove because of it’s protective shell or honeydie coating.
But, if you want to grow your monstera faster, then you must go beyond and try all the different ways to remove them.
To back up the information we provide in our articles, the Plantials team only uses high-quality sources published in peer-reviewed university or scientific research journals.
- Brown Soft Scale, Colorado State University
- Scales On Houseplants, Insect Diagnostic Library, Cornel University
- Scale Insects, Washington State University
- Scale Insects On Ornamental Plants, Texas A&M University