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European fruit lecanium

 Image of European fruit lecanium

The European fruit lecanium is a key soft scale insect pest of shade trees and other woody ornamental plants. This species feeds on a wide range of host plants. Populations of this pest build up quickly so monitoring for this pest on potential host plants is important. European fruit lecaniums are 4.7 mm wide, circular, reddish to dark brown, and often covered with white powder.

Early in the spring, Scale insects begin to feed and by mid-May are mature. When mature, males emerge and mate with the females. During late May or early June, females lay minute white eggs beneath their bodies. Each female is reported to lay from 940 to 3,142 eggs, depending upon the host plant. The eggs hatch in 20-30 days into crawlers that move to the lower leaf surface near the veins, and start to feed.

Control:

Natural enemies such as ladybird beetles, lacewings and predaceous bugs feed on crawlers as they emerge from under their mothers' scales and crawl to leaves to feed.