Description of the Pest
Italian pear scale overwinters mostly as a mature scale. The cover is circular, about 0.06 inch in diameter, and light gray, but with a brown peak slightly off-center. Underneath the covering, the female's body is reddish purple.
This scale does not attack fruit, but feeds directly on the wood of the tree, affecting tree vigor and causing reduced fruit size. Apple trees can tolerate fairly high populations of this scale without any apparent damage.
Although widely distributed, Italian pear scale is rarely a pest in commercial apple orchards.
Organically Acceptable Methods
Lime treatments are organically acceptable.
Generally, dormant sprays applied for other scales keep Italian pear scale under control unless limbs are heavily covered with moss and lichens. In this case, remove the moss and lichen or add Bordeaux mixture to the dormant spray to kill them. For more information on Bordeaux mixtures and how to mix them, see UC IPM Pest Note: Bordeaux Mixture, ANR Publication 7481.