Soft Wax Scale on Blueberry

Today it was brought to my attention that one of the potted blueberry plants here at the station had scale on it.  A couple months ago, I blogged about another type of scale on grapes.  The scale I saw today was different.  Both were soft-bodied scale, but the type on the blueberry is a soft wax scale (Ceroplastes spp.).  It may even be Indian Wax Scale (Ceroplastes ceriferus).  These types of scale infest a lot of different plant species in the eastern U.S.  Since these are here in the summer they are feeding on the blueberry canes and maturing (thus becoming more tolerant of pesticides) so that they can overwinter.

Soft Bodied Scale on small blueberry plant

Soft Bodied Scale on small blueberry plant

If you have these critters on your plants and would like to know what to do about it, this link has some good info on that: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/shrubs/note13/note13.html

Below is a photo I took a couple years ago of a plant in the field.  The infestation is larger.

Soft Bodied Scale on a blueberry plant in the field

Soft Bodied Scale on a blueberry plant in the field

These insects will overwinter as adults and start their lifecycle again in the following spring.  Left untreated they can cause significant damage or even stress the plant to the point of low productivity or even lead to plant death.