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.
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.
It looks similar to Indian wax scale, but fig wax scale has more of a pink appearance. It looks similar to Florida wax scale, but Florida wax scale has adults on the leaves and stems.
- 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).
Field diagnosis of the insect and the host plant are usually sufficient.
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