winterberry concern #157105 - Ask Extension

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winterberry concern #157105

Asked October 15, 2013, 9:39 AM EDT

I have noticed white somethings on some of the branches. The somethings look like little pieces of white chalk. I notice they have migrated to the stalks of hardy hibiscus and even some weeds. Thank you for any help you can give me to get rid of the "somethings".

New Castle County Delaware

Expert Response

Several types of scale insects are found on any or all of these plants. Because they are classed as "armored" scale they are difficult to control by spraying. First step is to remove and discard (don't compost) all affected weeds. If the winterberry and hibiscus aren't heavily infested natural predators can manage them. If they seem to be weakening the plants you can spray with dormant oil (a/k/a horticultural oil) in late winter; the oil isn't toxic but will smother the young when they hatch and begin crawling on the plant stems.
Gil Martin Replied October 20, 2013, 10:41 AM EDT

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