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White peach scale

Pseudaulacaspis pentagona (Targioni Tozzetti)
Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Diaspididae

Adult female is creamy-white to reddish orange, and covered by a round waxy scale that is grayish to brownish white (A). Adult males are tiny yellow 2-winged insects, and nymphs (crawlers) are oval and white to orange (B).

Distribution

Mainly PA and south throughout the Atlantic coast states.

Damage

Attacks peach and other stone fruits, particularly in Virginia and south. Scales cluster on the trunk and scaffolds, giving them a whitewashed appearance (C). Feeding reduces tree vigor; foliage of affected trees may become sparse and yellow. Fruit size may be reduced, and premature drop is likely. Heavy infestations can cause death of twigs, branches, and the entire tree if left unattended.

Management

Application of a dormant oil just before the tree breaks dormancy. Insecticide applications may be made to control newly hatched crawlers in early summer.

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