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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:15 pm

Can you help identify this insect issue?

I was out checking the kale, when I noticed these tiny seed-like pods all over the back of the leaves. Sure enough, I checked the pepper plants, parsley, Swiss Chard and Spinach and found a few there too.

Here are a couple pictures I just took.



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Full Member
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:00 pm
Location: Denver, CO

it looks like [url=]scale[/url] to me. soft scale actually, they seem a bit large. try using a horticultural oil that is safe for vegetables which you should be able to find at your local garden store.

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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Very interesting ... It doesn't really look like scale. What it looks like are leaf galls. Some insect larvae get in the leaf and induce it to produce the swelling which they live in until they are ready to become adult and leave. Aphids can do this and midges and others. HOWEVER, I have only ever seen this on woody plants-- my hackberry trees get covered in them every year and the witchhazel shrub had them last year (different species of insects--each tree has it's own specialized gall insect, the Hackberry gall psyllid lives only on hackberrys) On the trees, they are not really an issue, the galls don't damage the trees. But I have never seen them on veggies like this and it looks like a serious infestation.

Diagnostic test would be can you rub them off? Scale insects can be rubbed off; the galls would be part of the structure of the leaf.

If they are scale insects you can use a brush to touch each one with rubbing alcohol, which will kill them. If they are galls the insect is well protected inside the leaf and pretty immune to any kind of treatment except removing the leaf and destroying it.

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