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University Fights Against Scale Pest
Dormant Oil Will Be Sprayed on Infested Trees


Notice the small, coffee colored bumps on the leaves; this is a scale insect in its cocoon style casing. The pest can take on many different shapes, sizes and colors depending on which exact family it belongs to. They feed on a wide range of host plants and are estimated to date back to the Early Cretaceous period (between 100 to 146 million years ago!)

This winter break, while students are off campus for the holidays, the facilities management staff at the University of Colorado Boulder will be working to combat a pest that is affecting their pin and red oak trees.

The specific type of pest is known as the Allokermes scale, which belongs to the larger family of scale pests and has been a known problem on the campus for over a decade. A scale insect is a small pest that is estimated to have around 8,000 different species worldwide and can have devastating effects on many plant types.

To treat this problem, applicators will be applying a soybean based, dormant-oil broadcast spray to approximately 25 trees, when the weather permits. The university has conducted this treatment several times before and has had encouraging results.

Lead arborist Vincent Aquino states, "In the past few years we have treated for this pest, but we are hoping to not treat for the next several years." Aquino believes that the pest follows a loose ten-year cycle on the campus, increasing then decreasing in intensity during the span.

Information regarding scale can be found on the University of California Agricultural and Natural Resource website HERE. It offers information on identification, treatment and control.

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August 17, 2019, 10:58 am PDT

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