Name that Nuisance (BUG!)

I have 3 young Texas Ebony that have been growing pretty well, but not flourishing. For the past 2 years they’ve been slowing down despite all my efforts. Now i’m suspecting some sort of infestation.

There have always been a few of these little black dots on each plant since i got them. I didn’t think much of them because they weren’t numerous, didn’t increase, the trees did okay, and i could never google anything that looked like them. Now i see that there are substantially more and they tend to line the branches like a scale.

What am i dealing with and how do i get on top of them before i bring the trees indoor for winter (central Pa, USA)???



You say ‘like a scale’.
Have you eliminated scale as a possibility?

Have you tried to remove them with your fingers at all? What’s left underneath could be an indication of what it is.

Looks like scale to me

It certainly could be scale…but it doesn’t resemble the scale i’ve encountered before. These are tiny (1mm max) and black. The scale i usually deal with are >1mm and brownish and usually come off pretty easily with a swab dipped in alcohol. These little guys will come off with a finger or scraper, but not as ‘easily’. Once removed, there’s no trace they were there or it’s too small to see. Any concerns with a systemic for Texas Ebony? I’ve got a couple flavors of imidacloprid and a granular disulfoton.


I only say scale because those look like the dead scale I had on a tree after treating it with Sevin. I think I’ve used a systemic with my TE. I just don’t recall, but I wouldn’t hesitate. I haven’t seen any adverse affects from using the stuff so far. :crossed_fingers:t4: I’ll actually be using some on my TE very soon (hopefully today) as I get my tropicals ready to come indoors. If you wanna wait a week I can report back.

There are tons of types of scale, but I’m not 100% sure what this is. If you want to browse images of scale to compare it to, you can head here:

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Gee thanks Nate…thats an incredibly useful, yet thoroughly depressing web site. :wink: Who knew…hundreds of different scale just waiting to attack. I’ll go with the collective impression of the thread. If it quacks like a scale and doesn’t move, like scale, it’s probably scale (most similar to black scale per that disheartening forestry site).

Thanks all!