University of Florida

Cycad Aulacaspis Scale

Sagos are traditional Florida landscape plants that are threatened by a rapidly spreading pest called cycad aulacaspis scale.

The damage from these tiny sucking insects initially appears as yellow or bleached-looking spots, eventually making the leaves brown and crispy. Highly infested cycads are almost completely covered with a white crust that consists of living and dead insects.

Cycad aulacaspis scale seems to spread over short distances by wind, and long distances by the transport of infested plants. It can coat a sago within months and kill it within a year. The scale can even affect the roots down to two feet deep.

Cycad aulacaspis scale is a tough pest to get rid of, but repeated treatments with horticultural oils or an approved systemic insecticide may help.

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Cycad scale infested sago photo by Holly Glen
Holly Glen, UF/IFAS

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