June 29, 2011
Like swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, the Japanese beetles have reappeared on Iowa's roses and grape vines. Sigh. Here we go again.
It's a funny question, all right, but one that turns out to be more important than you might suppose. Scale insects are sap-feeding insects named for the scale or shell-like waxy covering that conceals their bodies.
Scale insects are generally divided into two categories: soft scale and armored (hard) scales. The names are moderately descriptive of the group, but not entirely, nor does hardness versus softness describe the whole difference.
The following are highlights and updates about samples and questions recently received in the Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic: