Star scale (Asterolecanium coffeae)
It is yellowish to reddish brown, covered with numerous small spines. It attacks stems and branches, causing deformation of branches. The growth of trees severely attacked is retarded and the trees may be die. Symptoms include green branches bent at nodes with pits in green bark beneath the bend, drooping dead leaves on affected nodes and numerous small red or yellow objects are found in the bark crevices especially near the ground. Alternative hosts include Jacaranda and loquat trees.
- Ladybird beetles and their larvae are often found wandering about the bark eating crawlers.
- Parasitised scales turn into dark-brown or black colour and are easily distinguished from the reddish-brown healthy adults. The adult parasites emerge from the scales through a neat circular hole on the shield (carapace) of the scale.
- Prune infested trees severely and strip off the crop. Cut off severely infested heads.
- Burn the infested pruned branches.
- Apply optimum organic matter such as compost and mulch to infested trees as well as foliar feed.
- Where road dust promotes infestation, plant live dust barrier such as key apples.