Scale infestations on houseplants result in the loss of plant nutrients that may cause death. Identify them by looking for a flat brown oval bugs on your plants. There are three types of scales: soft scales, mealy bugs and armored scales. Signs that scale bugs are sucking the fluids out of your houseplants include yellow wilted leaves, blemishes on fruit and twigs and bite marks on fruit. Control scales by using household products, insecticides or picking them off.
Inspect your plants for scales. Flip over scales to determine if they are alive, because dead scales remain on plants as well.
Wear gloves and dab each scale with a cotton ball soaked with alcohol. Throw the scales in a garbage bag and immediately place it outside of your home.
Make your own insecticide. Mix up 2 tbsp. of dish soap, 1 cup of alcohol and 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil with 1 gallon of water. Spray each leaf with the mixture and then wash with water.
Choose a ready-made insecticide that is chemically designed to kill scales. Insects have different chemical make ups, and so different chemical combinations are needed to kill them.
Spray scales before their first molting stage. Armored scales are difficult to kill, because of their hard covering. You can spray during the late winter to early summer to ensure the insecticide gets absorbed into their bodies.
Make sure you spray underneath the leaves and all over the houseplant when spraying for scales. You may need to reapply insecticide every week.
Tips & Warnings
Keep other houseplants away from those infected with scales. These insects can't fly, so your other plants can be taken to another room in the house.
Use an organic insecticide when spraying indoors, especially when you have pets or small children. You can also put your plants in the garage.