Ilex VS Euonymus Scale

Euonymus Scale


Edward L. Manigault, Clemson University Donated Collection,

Edward L. Manigault, Clemson University Donated Collection, – See more at:

Euonymus scale (Unaspis euonymi) is a pest that is around all year, especially on groundcover euonymus. Treatment should be done when the crawlers emerge, which is around the early part of June, although it may be a bit later this year. Male adult scales are white, and females are dark brown and are shaped like an oyster shell. Euonymus scale overwinters as a mated (pregnant) female on the plant stems. Eggs develop beneath the scale and hatch during late spring.

Hatch times coincide with the blooming of:

  • Chionanthus virginicus – White Fringe Tree
  • Crataegus crusgalli –Β  Cockspur Hawthorn
  • Cornus alternifolia – Alternateleaf Dogwood
  • Syringa vilrosa – Lilac
  • Catalpa speciosa

Management: Pesticides won’t help until the crawlers emerge, but if the population is heavy now, prune out the infested branches to reduce the number of scales. Then, when it is time to use an insecticide it will be more effective. Since there has been a lot of winter damage on ground cover euonymus, pruning will be required to remove the dead branches and take care of two problems at the same time.

Horticulture soap or oil will work to kill the crawlers.

2 thoughts on “Ilex VS Euonymus Scale

  1. We have two euonymous trees in the front garden. It is now cold and dark but tomorrow I will send a photo. We have never had any evil crawling things on them. Maybe they aren’t Euonymous after all but the people I bought the house from called them Spindle trees.


    • I can say I didn’t recognize the common name of ‘spindle tree’, however after searching web, they are euonymus alata or I know them as burning bush. They are very invasive here and are on many do not plant lists. Sigh. They are pretty, but beauty comes with a price!


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