- Worldwide distribution. In tropics and sub-tropics. Common on about 80 plant families, particularly fruit and forest trees, and herbaceous ornamentals, but also ferns, orchids and palms. Citrus and mango are the main hosts. An important pest.
- Eggs laid under females. “Crawlers” disperse, settle - often along midribs - moult and feed on sap, with excess expelled as honeydew. Damage by feeding and by sooty moulds growing on honeydew excreta and blackening leaves.
- Natural enemies: parasitoid wasps, but ants interfere with control by wasps and ladybeetles.
- Spread by crawlers on wind, and in the nursery trade.
- Cultural control: check nursery plants are free of scales; prune infested branches; destroy ants (hot water).
- Chemical control: soap, white or horticultural oils; or synthetic pyrethroids for ant control.
Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides
Pink wax scale (271)
Photo 2. General view of pink wax scale, Ceroplastes rubens, infestation on gardenia showing the blackening of the leaves due to sooty mould fungal growth.
Pink wax scale, red wax scale
AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Pink wax scale (2012) Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland Government. (https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/agriculture/plants/fruit-vegetable/insect-pests/pink-wax-scale); and from CABI (2016) Ceroplastes rubens (red wax scale). Crop Protection Compendium. (https://www.cabi.org/cpc/datasheet/12351). Photo 4 Randy Thaman, University of the South Pacific, Fiji.
Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.