By Clint Thompson
A persistent pest of peaches is expected to once again be a nuisance. This summer provides a couple of ideal targeting periods for growers to manage San Jose Scale.
Producers should try to target the San Jose Scale crawlers now and then again in late July to early August. They are the most vulnerable during these time periods, said Brett Blaauw, University of Georgia assistant professor in the Department of Entomology.
“It’s just a persistent pest. With this warm weather their populations are developing, and we’ll start to see peak activity for the crawler stage. The crawler stage is the mobile, most vulnerable stage of San Jose Scale,” Blaauw said. “The reason that we’re trying to target that is crawlers are the most vulnerable stage. If we can target that peak activity, we really get the most bang for our buck when using an insecticide.”
San Jose scale is a tiny insect that has a waxy coating. It covers and protects the whole body of the insect. It protects them from the environment and from other predatory insects. And unfortunately, it protects them from insecticides. Once these insects create their waxy covering, they are hard to kill, according to Blaauw.
They also reproduce at an extremely high rate. It does not take long for a minimal problem to balloon to a major concern for peach producers.