I have some sort of scale infestation on a small bush on my lawn. I'm not sure what sort of infestation it is - possibly Boisduval scale, but I'm not certain. Here are some photos:Underside of infested leaf Top of infested leaf The troubled bush Scaly branches

Any clue as to what it really is?

And any tips on how to handle it? The branches on the bush still appear viable, but is this bush a gonner? And an adjacent shrub is partially affected - how far will it spread?

Any help most appreciated.!

  • Are they also on stems?
    – BYJ
    Aug 17, 2014 at 15:09
  • 2
    Where I live these plants cost $25 for a new one without scale. I would dig out the one with scale and save yourself the trouble of spraying a pesticide. By the time you have cut it back, sprayed it, waited, sprayed again you could have a new plant the same size without the problem.
    – kevinskio
    Aug 18, 2014 at 11:24
  • Euonymus is one of the toughest plants I know. Plants do have life spans. When they get old for their species they get weak. If they aren't fertilized, they get susceptible to infection, disease and insect damage. I am thinking this shrub is OLD and needs replacing. But I would NOT replace it with Euonymus. Find a better shrub and consider a massing versus ONE plant sitting all by itself. I agree with Kevinsky, pull it up but do not plant Euonymus in the same spot.
    – stormy
    Jul 23, 2018 at 4:35
  • And this looks to me like white fly, scale perhaps on the stems or under the leaves. Same thing, old plant, weakened plant, dying plant.
    – stormy
    Jul 23, 2018 at 4:37

2 Answers 2


It's Euonymus scale, so called because it loves Euonymus plants, as you've discovered, in particular, evergreen varieties. I don't know what part of the world you're in, but you need to seek out a pesticide which treats for these, or they will completely decimate the shrub/s. These are the male scales you're seeing - there will be female ones (which I can see, causing that mottled appearance on the branches) that are fixed firmly to the woody parts which are oyster shell coloured scales. The best way of tackling them is to treat the males on the leaves - once the females are fixed on the stems, they're fairly impervious, but you should spray the whole shrub, tops and undersides of leaves and stems. I'd recommend Provado Ultimate Bug Killer or Scotts Bugclear Ultra in the UK, not sure if they're available where you are. I'm not at all certain that the plant shown in the picture is recoverable, it's obviously had a problem for a significant period.

If you're interested in the name of the particular scale species, its unaspis euonymi.

UPDATE: Regarding cutting back, yes, you will need to do that, but if you're in the northern hemisphere, hard cutting back now is not advisable, unfortunately, unless you know you're in a warmer region.


In addition as per @Bamboo answer I would do the following:

  1. Make a severe pruning. That means to prune half of shoots.
  2. Burn the prunnings in a suitable location. Do not forget to move the prunings in a bag to avoid spreading the plague.
  3. Buy some insecticide for scale insects.
  4. Read the insecticide label.
  5. Reread the insecticide label.
  6. Follow the safety tips.
  7. Apply the insecticide. It is a good idea to apply it in the ground too (maybe some insects were detached during the prune).
  8. Reapply the insecticide according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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