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Fig Wax Scale Diagnostic Guide

Ceroplastes rusci (Linnaeus)

Fig wax scale, Ceroplastes rusci (Linnaeus), was first discovered in Florida at several nurseries and stock dealers in 1994 and 1995. It has become a common pest of Ixora spp. Heavy infestation can lead to the reduced vigor of the host plant. Heavy infestations may result in chlorotic spotting and premature leaf drop, wilting, and stem dieback. These insects can produce copious amounts of honeydew.

Trees at Risk

Multiple species, but most often ixora throughout the southern United States.

Ixora

Signs of Fix Wax Scale

Adult female fig wax scales

Signs of Fix Wax Scale

Fig wax scale located mainly on veins

Signs of Damage

This scale is deeply encased in pinkish-gray wax, which is divided into three wax plates on each side with additional plates at the anterior and posterior ends. Copious honeydew producer.

Physical Appearance

Look similar to Indian wax scale, but fig wax scale has more of a pink appearance. Look similar to Florida wax scale, but Florida wax scale has adults on the leaves and stems.

Biology

  • Adult females overwinter on twigs and produce eggs very early in the spring
  • The eggs hatch to crawlers which move to feed on leaves
  • After about one month, the crawlers molt to 2nd instar nymphs and migrate to the leaf petioles or to new shoots
  • Scales mature in summer, and a new generation of crawlers is produced.
  • These nymphs mature late in the fall, overwinter on the twigs, and repeat the cycle (Bodkin 1927).
Signs of Fix Wax Scale

Nymph of the fig wax scale, Ceroplastes rusci (Linnaeus)

Treatment Strategy

Field diagnosis of the insect and the host plant are usually sufficient.

  • Soil Application using Xytect 2F

    Dosage: 0.1-0.2 oz./inch DBH
    Timing: Any time the ground is not frozen
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Xytect 2F
    Xytect 2F
    $69.60
  • Foliar Spray using Xytect 2F

    Dosage: 1.5 oz./100 gal water
    Timing: When crawlers are present (usually on new growth)
    Re-Treatment: 14 Days
    Xytect 2F
    Xytect 2F
    $69.60
  • Soil Application using Xytect 75WSP 22 packets

    Dosage: 1 packet/24-48 inches DBH
    Timing: Any time the ground is not frozen
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets
    $148.00
  • Foliar Spray using Xytect 75WSP 22 packets

    Dosage: 1 packet/300 gal water
    Timing: When crawlers are present(usually on new growth)
    Re-Treatment: 14 Days
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets
    $148.00
  • Soil Application using Transtect

    Dosage: 1 packet/5-17 inches DBH, or 10-17 ft shrub height
    Timing: Early spring - summer
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Transtect
    Transtect
    $326.00
  • Systemic Bark Spray using Transtect

    Dosage: 6 packets/1 gal water apply 1.5-2.0oz solution/inch DBH
    Timing: Early spring - summer
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Transtect
    Transtect
    $326.00
  • Foliar Spray using Transtect

    Dosage: 1 packet/25-50 gal water
    Timing: When crawlers are present (usually on new growth)
    Re-Treatment: 14 Days
    Transtect
    Transtect
    $326.00
  • Foliar Spray using RTSA Horticultural Oil

    Dosage: 0.5 gal + 8-12 oz./100 gal water
    Timing: When crawlers are present
    Re-Treatment: 14 Days
    RTSA Horticultural Oil
    RTSA Horticultural Oil
    $39.00
  • Foliar Spray using RTSA Horticultural Oil

    Dosage: 2 gal/100 gal water
    Timing: During the dormant season
    Re-Treatment: Annually as needed
    RTSA Horticultural Oil
    RTSA Horticultural Oil
    $39.00
  • Foliar Spray using Up-Star Gold

    Dosage: 10.8-21.7 fl oz/100 gal water
    Timing: When crawlers are present (usually on new growth)
    Re-Treatment: 14 - 21 Days
    Up-Star Gold
    Up-Star Gold
    $33.33

Treatment Strategy Expectation

Systemic has been reported to work well.

A Diagnostic Guide is designed to help you identify a pest issue and management solutions. Always refer to product label for all rates and approved uses. Some images courtesy forestryimages.org. Use of the images does not imply endorsement of treatments by forestryimages.org

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