How to recognize rose scale

Rose scales are covered by a white shield. The females are round-shaped and differ greatly from males.  The body of females underneath the shield is lightly orange coloredThe young scales that crawl from underneath the mother’s cover are orange as wellWhen the young scales have settled close to their mother, they start producing a white shield. They will spend the rest of their lives immobile underneath this shieldThe males develop an elongated white ribbed cocoon. In the adult stage, the males will emerge and fly across short distances in search of mating partners. Like females, their body is orange of color 

A rose scale infestation stands out, because of the presence of white, peel-like structure. These infestations are often found on the stem of a shrub, concealed in the bottom of the crop. Rose scales do not produce honey dew. 

Rose scale Aulacaspis rosae
Rose scale
Rose scale Aulacaspis rosae close-up
Rose scale close-up

Rose scale damage 

Rose growers are very alert on recognizing a rose scale infestation. Experience shows that infestations are sometimes found when it has developed into a serious problem. Larger areas with a high density of scales cover the stems and young crawlers disperse to adjacent shrubs. Such high infestations cause major damage: the rose shrubs will be sucked dry, leaves yellow and wilt decreasing shoot and flower formation. Ultimately, plants can succumb completely due to have rose scale infestations. 

Rose scale Aulacaspis rosae
Rose scale on a rose stem

Life cycle rose scale

  • 100-200 eggs per female
  • high mortality under young crawlers
  • egg to adult in 1-3 months
  • development halted during winter
  • several generations per year in greenhouses

Host plants rose scale

  • rose
  • berry bushes
  • pear tree
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Common armoured scale species

Rose scale
Boisduval scale

Oleander scale
Florida Red Scale
Fern scale