looks like I have pests on one of my skip laurel. What kind of pests are these and what's the best way to control them? I've heard ladybugs are good ... true? More photos: https://i.stack.imgur.com/oCrZR.jpg

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1 Answer 1


Scale; they nearly killed my sweetbay laurel. Three choices that I know of; 1 scrape them off with a finger nail, 2 - apply dormant oil , 3- systemic poison. Dormant oil (aka, baby oil, mineral oil) is bad for green leaves but I wet a rag and wipe stems and twigs. I did not use systemic as I want to use the Bay leaves in cooking. So I cumulatively spent hours scraping off scales with my nail. Looking pretty good so far this year.

  • Thank you. What is systemic poison?
    – Peter
    Jun 21, 2020 at 21:27
  • I just looked up systemic poison. It seems there are several options (eg acetamiprid, dinotefuran, and thiamethoxam) but not all work for all types of scale pests. Do you recommend one in particular?
    – Peter
    Jun 21, 2020 at 21:48
  • 1
    Systemic poison will kill bees and other beneficial insects and also birds who eat those insects. Please avoid using systemic insecticide and try to remove the scales manually. It is not going to be easy, but it is certainly worth the effort. Jul 23, 2020 at 15:33

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