Parasite on olive tree?

Hi all!

My olive tree has something on the leaves and on some branches and I don’t know what it is or how to cure it. The tree also attracts ants (not sure if it is for the same reason). Can anyone help me solve this problem? You can see it attached on the end of some of the leaves and also on the base of the branch on the photo.

Thanks a lot in advance!


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Scale insect. Neem oil or insecticide. The ants harvest the honey dew. good luck


You can pick them off



I tried last year to pick them off but this year they came back and in more quantity.

I’ll try this Neem oil and see if it gets rid of them.

Thank you both!

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I’d use Bayer tree and shrub, the one with Merritt/Imidacloprid. It’ll kill anything attacking the sap: scale, aphids…


I’ve use Lime Sulphur mixed half and half with water and then spray or brush it on the branches to control scale insects. You may have to do it 2 or 3 times to get them and their off spring all.

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If the tree is under increased attack it is an indication that the tree is weak and susceptible. Too quickly we go to treat the symptoms and not the illness. 9 times out of 10 it is water and oxygen balance in the roots, but you could be working the tree too much, not allowing it dormancy, not giving enough light or air- the list goes on. But until you can get it healthy again, the scale will return.

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Thank a lot for all the inputs.

In the end I bought an organic insecticide from a shop, used it and also pick them all off. So hopefully it will work. I just applied it once but maybe I’ll do it a second time in a week if I still see activity. At the moment it’s been 10 days or so and the scale insect doesn’t seem to be there, but ants still come in, so it must mean there is still honey dew to harvest on the leaves I guess.

Looking forward to solving the problem and seeing the olive tree on its full potential.

Thanks again!

Neem oil works, water it into the soil. It is not instant, but it is systemic and selective, it will not kill bees etc as they are not sucking. But if you spray and it goes onto bees etc it will kill. Do a search to find how to use it, and buy it neat not so called horticultural use.

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Thanks! I’ll try this if they come back.



I’ve only been taught to use neem as a foliage treatment. This sounds awesome. I would love a systemic that doesn’t hurt bees. Do you mix any differently ? Is there any risks using to water the soil? Thanks!