Is there a non-toxic way to get rid of scale insects?


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I've been having a huge problem with scale on some of my potted plants, most of which are in various stages of being developed for bonsai. I don't like to use poisons, so most of the time I just remove them with my hands and squash them. However yesterday I discovered that a Ficus Pumila hanging plant is quite badly infested with them. I pulled off as many as I could, but on a plant like that it's easy to miss some. Also, some of them are really small.

Some time ago I read that fish emulsion kills scale. I tried using it as a foliar feed a couple of times, but I've got so many plants it takes a long time to spray them all and I don't want to spend the time unless I know it will work. I'm also not sure whether it's safe to use fish emulsion in winter.

Does anyone know whether fish emulsion works, or whether there is another safe way to get rid of these pests?
 
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I know this stuff kills and repels a lot of insects that attack plants, but I don't know definitely for scale. It is non toxic as it is pretty much all natural oils that affect the bugs nervous system. It is safe around pets and kids and we have used it on tomato plants the same day as picking the tomatoes. It did even help with hornworms one year (and they are quite the nuisance!)

Hopefully you can find it by you, we get it at the local home improvement stores. It is non toxic and works wonders!
 
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That looks really interesting but I have a problem. I've looked for it online and the place that's advertising it have a price listing which is equivalent to $56.30. That's a bit crazy when Home Depot has it at $5.99.

I suddenly realized I'd bought something called Baba Plant Care Insect Repellent Tenen D25 about a year ago. It claims to contain more than 250 types of natural organic ingredients and minerals, but I've never been able to find out anything about it. Even the lady at the garden center where I bought it didn't have a clue.

My initial thought was that there might be some home-made remedy like the soap solution I've used in the past which would work for scale, but if no one can suggest anything of the type, perhaps I should give my stuff a try.
 
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That looks really interesting but I have a problem. I've looked for it online and the place that's advertising it have a price listing which is equivalent to $56.30. That's a bit crazy when Home Depot has it at $5.99.

I suddenly realized I'd bought something called Baba Plant Care Insect Repellent Tenen D25 about a year ago. It claims to contain more than 250 types of natural organic ingredients and minerals, but I've never been able to find out anything about it. Even the lady at the garden center where I bought it didn't have a clue.

My initial thought was that there might be some home-made remedy like the soap solution I've used in the past which would work for scale, but if no one can suggest anything of the type, perhaps I should give my stuff a try.
Yikes $56.30 is definitely a bit expensive! I bought mine 2 years ago and it was just under $5, but I can't remember if I bought it at Lowe's or Home Depot (they are across the street from each other so I go to both sometimes.) I see on the manufactures website that it is listed for $8 now. Not sure if it went up or if you can still get it cheaper at home improvement stores.

That is the only thing I have used for my plants the last 2 years since it has worked well and is non toxic. I use garlic in my yard, but that is for mosquitoes, fleas and ticks - we live on the river so mosquitoes can be out of control. Not sure that it would help other plants or insects tho.
 
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I read an article about using garlic as an insecticide a while ago, but I'm not sure whether it mentioned scale. I'll see whether I can find it again. I must try to remember about garlic next summer anyway because we also get some mosquitoes or fleas (possibly both) and they really make a meal of my legs. I've tried taking garlic capsules to stop them biting me, but that doesn't seem to work.

When I'm at a garden center I'll see if they keep the product you recommended. If they do it certainly won't cost as much as it is on that website. I've always found their prices rather suspect - things like cameras can be ridiculously cheap, but anything for the garden seems to cost the earth.
 

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