Soft Scale Insects

Class: Insects

Common Name

Soft Scale Insects

Scientific name

Members of the Coccidae family: Ceroplastes floridensis, Ceroplastes rusci, Saissetia oleae, Coccus hesperidum, Saissetia coffeae, Protopulvinaria pyriformis, and more

Vector of diseases


Potential Hosts


Who am I?

Soft scale insects small and covered with a waxy-like unseparated layer of secretion. They are usually found on many crops, but have a slight preference for citrus. Female soft scale insects search for feeding spots on plant parts, including foliage, twigs, and fruits. The eggs are laid underneath the female soft scale body. Though, females have the ability to translocate to new feeding spots. Heavy feeding causes sooty mold on excreted honeydew and can reduce photosynthesis.

Control measures


Sanitation: Cut off and destroy heavily affected leaves.

The sooner the better: It is easier and more cost effective to overcome infestations during the initial stage. Make a routine to monitor the field regularly and search plants for the presence of soft scale insects.

Conventional (chemical)

The following are a few generic names of products found throughout large parts of the world: Imidacloprid, acetamiprid, spirotetramat, sulfoxaflor, and pyriproxyfen


Summer oil can be applied.


Soft scale insects have many natural predators, many of which are wasps and include: Tetrastichus ceroplastes, Microterys flavus, Scutellista caerulea, Moranila Californica, Metaphycus lounsburyi, and Cryptolaemus montrouzieri.

Important note: Honeydew attracts ants which may interfere with the biological control of some parasites.

*Names marked in red are considered to be highly poisonous to beneficial insects

*Names marked in green are considered to be IPM (integrated pest management) compatible

Caution and careful notice should be taken when using any plant protection products (insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides). It is the grower’s sole responsibility to keep track of the legal uses and permissions with respect to the laws in their country and destination markets. Always read the instructions written on labels, and in a case of contradiction, work in accordance to the product label. Keep in mind that information written on the label usually applies to local markets. Pest control products intended for organic farming are generally considered to be less effective in comparison to conventional products. When dealing with organic, biologic, and to some extent a small number of conventional chemical products, a complete eradication of a pest or disease will often require several iterations of a specific treatment or combination of treatments.

Protect your crops.
use agrio.

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