The Least Known Of All Insect Pests Has To Be The Oystershell Scale
When considering all insect life on the planet, there is probably not a group of insects that are more obscure to the public than armored scale insects. One reason why nobody has heard of these insects is due to their minute size. They tend to measure at one eighth of an inch in length. Another reason for their obscurity has to do with the fact that these insects obscure themselves. These tiny bugs hide under a protective shell on leaves or bark. This protective shell is made of a waxy substance, as well as old skin that had been shed, as well as many more pleasant substances. When forcibly removing this wax, the insect does not appear like anything of this earth. For example, it does not possess eyes, legs or an antennae, and its appearance is similar to a flattened organic looking sac. Armored scale insects are truly in a category of their own.
The oystershell scale is one such armored insect that, like all armored insects, feed on host plants. In order for these tiny insects to gather sustenance from plant matter, they are equipped with mouthparts that are far larger in size than their own bodies. Unfortunately, oystershell scales can destroy the host plants that they feed on.
It is common for oystershell scales to overwhelm host plants. This is not just because oystershell scales possess large appetites; rather, single leaves or branches on host plants can become littered with numerous hungry oystershells. If oystershell scales are not controlled early on, entire plants can die as a result of overfeeding by large oystershell populations.
In order to prevent plant death as a result of numerous oystershell infestations, plant branches containing large amounts of oystershells can be pruned off. Also, simply removing the small oystershells with cleaning pads has been proven to be an effective method of preventing oystershell-induced plant death.
Now that you are aware of what armored insects, like oystershell scales, look like, do you believe that you have spotted these odd-looking creatures before?