Oystershell scale

Lapidosaphes ulmi

This armored scale has two forms (lilac and apple) that attack numerous hosts, including ash, lilac, maple, willow, crabapple, linden, elm and others. It overwinters as eggs, which hatch in mid-May, when black cherry or blackhaw viburnum are in full bloom. No honeydew is produced.

Oyster Shell Damage
Symptoms of oyster shell scale include dieback of branches and twigs, yellowed or undersized foliage and an unthrifty appearance, as shown on this Carolina silverbell.


Target first generation crawlers with insecticides or oil.

Oyster shell
Scales with exit holes caused by emerging parasitic wasps.

The first generation of crawlers should have emerged by the time Spirea x vanhouttei is in full bloom, in mid- to late May. There is one generation of the lilac form and two of the apple form per year. Twice-stabbed lady beetles and parasitic wasps are natural enemies of oyster shell scale.

Oyster shell
Brown-to-grayish oyster shell shaped scales, about 3 mm long, form a crust on the bark.

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The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.