Hulett Response to Coronavirus. Read Here


Red Date Scales

Active Seasons

Illustration representing the spring season
Illustration representing the summer season
Illustration representing the winter season
Illustration representing the fall season

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 of Red Date Scales

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.

Image of a magnifying glass

Signs of Infestation of Red Date Scales

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.

An illustration representing a warning sign for bug infestation

Tips for Prevention of Red Date Scales

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

A cropped image of a pencil

Red Date Scale Gallery

Photograph of red date scale

Latest Pest & Termite Control News

Termites 101: A South Florida Homeowners Guide

Termites 101: A South Florida Homeowners Guide

South Florida is an attractive place to call home. It's no wonder termites also love West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Pierce and other South Florida neighborhoods. In fact, termites are predicted to damage over 50% of South Florida structures by 2040, according to...

Read More ›
Drywood vs Subterranean Termites

Drywood vs Subterranean Termites

Here at Hulett Environmental Services, we receive many questions regarding the different species of termites and questions about the various effective treatment methods for eradicating infestations, including "Do you tent for subterranean termites?", along with "Does tenting kill subterranean...

Read More ›
What to Know about Termite Swarming Season

What to Know about Termite Swarming Season

As the warmer and rainy months approach, South Floridians must be aware that termite swarming season is also upon us, putting homes and businesses at increased risk of becoming infested. In fact, South Florida is home to many of the cities known for having some of the most termite infestations...

Read More ›