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Heavily infested plants will have large numbers of scales on the branches and twigs. Large numbers of feeding scales will reduce the amount of nutrients reaching the leaves and will cause them to turn yellow and fall prematurely. Scale insects feed on plant sap with their long thread-like mouthparts (stylets), which are six to eight times longer than the insect itself. Feeding by scales slowly reduces plant vigor. Heavily infested plants grow poorly and may suffer dieback of twigs and branches. Occasionally, an infested host will be so weakened that it will die.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
November 14, 2014