Harm and treatment of olive wood scale

Adult olive mealybug

Image – Flickr / fturmog

The olive wood scale It is one of those pests that, although they are not fatal (unless the plant is very young and / or already has other problems), they are debilitating. But fortunately, it is very easy to identify, as it is difficult to forget an oval-shaped protrusion of such a dark color that it appears on branches, and sometimes leaves.

But of course, it will be useless to know how to recognize it if we do not know how to eliminate it. Although that’s why you don’t have to worry, because Next I am going to tell you the existing remedies that exist to end this plague.

What is it?

Mealybug on olive treeolive mealybug

Image – Wikimedia Commons / Toby Hudson

The insect we are going to talk about is a coccyd whose scientific name is sassetia of oilwhich is believed to be native to South Africa but has been on the Mediterranean coast and in California for a long time (centuries). It can also be found in colder areas, but inside greenhouses.

There are female specimens that, once adults, have a convex shape, are blackish in color and measure between 2 and 6mm in length.. It is rare that there are males, since the species reproduces by parthenogenesis; that is, by the development of female sex cells that have not been fertilized.

Its biological cycle is as follows:

  • Eggs: you can put from 150 to 2500, usually on the underside of the leaves.
  • Larvae: once they hatch from the egg, they feed on the sap, keeping themselves protected from the direct sun.
  • nymphs: as they mature, they migrate towards the tender branches.
  • Adults: they stay in the branches, where they will give way to a new generation through parthenogenesis.

What favors its development?

The olive wood scale can have one to two generations per year, depending on the climate, the species and the conditions in which the host plants are found.

But also, you have to keep in mind that you love them winters and mild summers, excess nitrogen fertilizers and the fact of have many specimens planted together and / or without pruningwhich hinders air circulation and the entry of light into the glass.

What are the damages it produces?


  • Defoliation (premature leaf drop)
  • Lower fruit production
  • Appearance of other diseases, such as the olive fly and sooty mold
  • In very young and / or weakened specimens, death

How to fight it?

Home remedies and practices and / or ecological

Compost, an organic compost

Compost, an organic fertilizer

  • Using organic fertilizersLike compost, mulch, eggshells, etc.
  • Keep the treetops somewhat openso that the sunlight can enter inside, preventing the olive scale from proliferating.
  • Deal with ecological insecticidesLike diatomaceous earth (The dose is 35g per 5l of water).
    Another option, if you have a tree of a certain size, is to water it from above and sprinkle this earth (it is actually a white powder. You have more information here!) above. You may notice that it takes 1-2 days to work, but from experience I can tell you that it is one of the best natural products that I have tried to fight pests. You get it here!.

Chemical remedies

If you prefer you can use a anti-mealybug insecticide that they sell in any nursery or garden store.

I hope it has been useful to you.

Harm and treatment of olive wood scale

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