Pine needle scale (see pictures below) is a soft scale insect that effects mainly Mugho and Scotts Pine in our area. White specks become evident against the green foliage of the pine needles to show their presence. These are sucking insects, which initially cause a yellowing or browning of plant tissue. Heavy infestations can kill twigs, branches, or entire plants.
Scale insects can be difficult to control. They produce two generations per season and insecticides must be applied when the insects are in their crawler stage. Once scale insects settle down, they form a waxy cover making insecticides ineffective.
We can get control of these insects, however, multiple applications are required. We recommend dormant oil at the beginning of the season, as well as three insecticide applications in April - June.