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.