jenc555
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Hard Shells/Scales on Rose Stem - What is It?

I found these odd shells on a stem of my rose bush and have looked around online and can't find out what they are. I don't think it's scale because the pattern is so uniform - they are hard shells and underneath it looks like they have cut a single slit in the stem.

Any ideas what this is?? It looks intriguing, but I'm also wondering if it's a pest or disease, and therefore snip this stem off the bush. Thanks for your help!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wo5obvg1dc4j57z/86cV7E0ke8

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rainbowgardener
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Yup, I think a major infestation of scale insects They start looking all lined up like that when there are so many they are filling up all the space.

If you dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and touch it to each one (individually!), it will kill them without harming the rose bush.

The scale insects are pretty resistant to insecticides because of the hard shells. The slit is where they are sucking the life juices out of your rose.
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applestar
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I don't know what they are but their regular pattern suggests pest eggs?

My first instinct is to say this is definitely some kind of a pest and you should cut the affected stems off before they hatch.

Have you pulled them off? Do they have mouthparts/legs? (i.e. not eggs but feeding bugs?) Maybe you could keep some in a jar and observe....
-- I'm intrigued! I hope someone can ID them.

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rainbowgardener
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You didn't think scale, applestar?
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applestar
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I've never seen scales that look quite like that -- these look flat cucumber seed-like? Scales I'm familiar with look like waxy lumps that are part of the plant structure. But I'm not familiar with west coast bugs at all.

Maybe the lack of visual proportion reference ("scale" :wink:) of the photos is throwing me off too.

cynthia_h
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They're scale, all right. This is a new/young infestation. As they mature, they'll take on the darker color that you may be used to seeing, AS. But right now is when they're more susceptible to the alcohol/Q-tip treatment. :twisted:

Cynthia H.
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jenc555
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Thanks!

Thanks all for your help! Cucumber seeds is a good description of it, though they're about 2/3 the size of a cucumber seed. And they are indeed getting darker (started of white just like a cucumber seed and are slowly browning). I ended up just snipping that stem off the bush altogether, as I wasn't sure I'd be thorough enough with the alcohol treatment to kill it off.

Thanks again for your expertise guys!

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