Lobate Lac Scale

Small tree trunk and branches covered with black bumps

F.W. Howard, University of Florida, Bugwood.org

The lobate lac scale a very damaging landscape pest in southern Florida. This reddish-brown insect, x-shaped insect feeds on branches and blends in well with bark. Lobate lac scale is most often found on woody plants. The presence of sooty mold could indicate their activity, and in severe infestations, branches may die back, or the entire plant may die.

Wax myrtle is especially susceptible to lobate lac scale, and the numerous other plants affected include trees such as southern red cedar, mango, live oak, and many shrubs including gardenia, and yaupon holly. The scale is spread by wind, animals, and the movement of infested plant material. Researchers are still investigating the best methods for management of this new pest.

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