Scale insects have a size of 1/8 to 1/2 inch small enough to be unnoticeable most of the time. They are flat or spherical, oval in shape and have a protective shell-like covering. Color may vary with the species but they are mostly seen in brown, dark brown to black.
Scale Insect Groups
Soft Scales: This type of scales release cottony soft thin wax-like layer up to 1/2 inch long covering them which can’t be removed from their body. They hardly move but produce a large amount of honeydew.
Hard Scales: Hard scales has an armored shell-like covering 1/8 inch of their body but is not actually attached to them. It is made from wax and shed skins that serve as their protection. This type of scale lives and eats under this armor and does not move nor releases honeydew.
Scales live a simple life. Female scales lay eggs underneath their covering. When the eggs hatched, nymphs with tiny legs and antenna emerge. They will move to another place to create a new feeding site, place their sucking mouthparts and begin feeding themselves on the plant’s sap. The other characteristics of nymphs particularly the shell-like cover develop as soon as they begin feeding. Mostly, the legs and antenna are removed as they grow towards adulthood. Male scales are small flying insects that travel to see female scales for matin