Agriculture: Apple Pest Management Guidelines

Italian Pear Scale

  • Epidiaspis leperii
  • 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.

    Damage

    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.

    Management

    Although widely distributed, Italian pear scale is rarely a pest in commercial apple orchards.

    Organically Acceptable Methods

    Lime treatments are organically acceptable.

    Treatment Decisions

    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.

    Text Updated: 03/09