GET STARTED

Red Date Scales

Active Seasons

Appearance and Size Facts

  • Adult females are sphere-shaped with highly reduced legs or with legs completely absent
  • Red to reddish-brown in color
  • Found in areas of heavy white wax on the host plant
  • Size: Adult females are roughly 1/25 to 1/16 inch in length, with males being even smaller
  • Plant death has been known to occur from very heavy infestations left untreated

Behavior and Habitat

Four generations of Red Date scale occurs per year in the United States and overlapping generations are possible. Development time can range from 2 months to just over 5 months. Once eggs hatch, the female crawlers (mobile stage) find a suitable feeding site and insert their mouthparts. Once they begin feeding, they remain in place and begin to build a white waxy covering. Females go through three instars, while males, who cannot feed, go through five instars. Once females molt into the adult form, the males will mate with the females and die soon after. Red Date scale is currently only found in small areas within Florida. Previous infestations were eradicated in Arizona, California, and Texas. Feeding is generally restricted to palms in the genus Phoenix (Canary Island Date Palms, Edible Date Palms, Senegal Date Palms, Pygmy Date Palms), although feeding has been notated on the California Fan Palm, Washingtonia filifera, as well as from Eucalyptus spp. trees.

Signs of Infestation

On palms, the scale insects usually will start at the base of the fronds, near the trunk. Any leaves, stems, fruit, or trunk, as well as roots, both exposed or underground, can be infested. Plant death has been known to occur from very heavy infestations left untreated.

Tips for Prevention

For heavy infestations, a professional pest management company, such as Hulett Environmental Services, should be consulted.

Red Date Scale Gallery

Latest News

Weather and its Impact on Pests

Weather and its Impact on Pests

We know that weather and seasonal changes affect human behavior and outside activities, so it’s no big surprise that heat and cold, along with dry and wet conditions also affect pest populations. While seasonal changes can be subtle in the South Florida; these changes can send pests looking...

Read More ›
Test Your Pest Knowledge 

Test Your Pest Knowledge 

Even though many bugs are active year-round in South Florida's mild, humid climate, but in the summer months…it's full-on bug time. The usual suspects, such as cockroaches, palmetto bugs, ants, termites, mosquitoes, bees, wasps, and spiders just love trying to ruin your summer plans. While you...

Read More ›
Why Pests Love Florida

Why Pests Love Florida

Why do pests love to call Florida home? The short answer: What's not to like? Here are 7 reasons why pests love Florida. #1: Warmth Insects love warm weather. In cooler climates, insects tend to die off or go into hibernation. Florida's moderate temps allow pest colonies to grow larger...

Read More ›