Yew scale is a sap-sucking insect that lives mainly on the leaves and stems of a yew (Taxus). Scale insects can infest even needled conifers, making them especially dangerous in a garden of prickly evergreens. Young females have a dark stripe down the middle and mottling at the sides. However, at maturity, scale insects are immobile, have no visible legs or antennae, and in the case of armored scales, are covered with a protective shell that ranges from about 1/16-to-3/8-inches in size. In addition, heavily infested plants may become unsightly by a heavy crust of black sooty mold that develops on the honeydew. Scale Insects. How insecticidal soap works on plant pests. It is similar in appearance to brown scale however, brown scale is found on a wide range of plants but not Taxus. Name – Coccidae, Pseudococcidae, Diaspididae Lifespan – up to a year (dormant in winter) Size – from 1/16 th to 1/4 th inch (1-5mm). Went to check for scale and to be honest not sure what to look for so posting some pics. The insect tends to populate the undersides of leaves/needles. Many of them are agricultural pests, while others prey on trees or other plant life. Scale sounds and looks a lot like a plant disease, but the term actually refers to infestation by any one of more than 7,000 species of tiny sap-sucking insects.Scale insects typically adhere to the stems, branches, and sometimes the leaves of plants to feed on sap, and they have a shell-like bump appearance, which sometimes causes them to be mistaken for a fungal or bacterial disease. Ew, scale insects! Cottony Scale insects produce cottony egg masses from which young crawlers emerge. Cottony taxus scale is most commonly found on yews and hollies in this area. Another odd thing was when I went to check there were only a few insects now. Quick scale insect facts. This soft scale insect secretes an abundance of honeydew (sticky, sugar-rich material). These cottony masses can contains hundreds of eggs each. Scale insects feed on shrubs' sap using their long, piercing mouthparts, causing twig and branch dieback and sometimes killing the plants. Cottony taxus scale is a soft scale (produces a thin, waxy outer covering attached to insect) as opposed to a hard scale (produces a harder, outer shell not attached to the insect). Cottony camellia scales, Pulvinaria floccifera, are cream to tan, elongate oval, and relatively flat.They are also called cottony taxus scales as this scale is a fairly common pest of yew. Scale insects can be divided into two groups: armored scales and soft scales. Insecticidal soaps exploit the fatty acids in soap to suffocate small, soft-bodied insects and arthropods such as aphids, mealybugs, thrips, whiteflies, spider mites, leaf hoppers, earwigs, and immature scales (crawlers).. They can also be found in the garden at the end of spring, during summer, and in the fall. A: This is cottony taxus scale, aka cottony camellia scale. Scale insects tap into plants and feed on plant sap, weakening and even killing plants over time. If it is a minor infestation, as it seems you have, you can control it … Whether flat against leaves or fruit, or lumpy bumps on branches or stems, this widespread superfamily of insects is well over 8000 species strong. The insects attach to the needles and suck sap from the yew. Scale insects also secrete a sticky liquid called honeydew, which promotes the fungal disease black sooty mold. Scale insects like mealybugs are among the most common parasites on indoor plants.. Danger to plant – fatal if infested Heavily infested yews may have chlorotic (yellow) needles or … Scale insects … There's browning on the inside but I always thought that was due to the density on the outside restricting light. Yew scale has one generation a year and in early summer the adult insects can be seen on the leaves and stems. 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