Letting nature take its course

Pictured is a pretty cool example of how a beneficial fungus efficiently kills a serious pest of oak tree.  The pest is a type of armored scale, and is very difficult and costly to control.  Costly control is due to the protective cover it develops over its body, protecting it from insecticde treatments.  This particular armored scale is commonly called “Obscure Scale”, as it is very small and is well camouflaged – so it is “obscure”.

The orange color that you can see on the pictured oak, is a fungus that feeds upon the scale, and as you can see, is aggressively attacking the armored scale.  By recognizing a beneficial organism when it occurs, and in so doing letting nature takes its course, a more efficient and cost effective means of controlling a pests may be realized.  Also, if beneficial organisms such as the pictured fungus are recognized, a management plan that protects the beneficial can be implemented.

The picture was taken during month of February, a few years back.  So be on the look out for it during next several weeks, and if you find it, make sure that it does a thorough job of killing the scale.


Obscure Scale - parasitised

Parasitised Obscure Scale

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