Agriculture: Fig Pest Management Guidelines

Fig Scale

  • Lepidosaphes conchiformis
  • Description of the Pest

    Overwintering adults are dark brown with a greasy-appearing wax coating; summer broods and younger scales are lighter in color. Overwintering females are found on 1- to 2-year-old wood. Eggs are laid in spring, and crawlers hatch when leaves are unfolding. First generation scales settle on leaves, but later generations settle on leaves, twigs, or fruit. Adult female scales are oystershell shaped and about 0.1 inch long. There are usually three generations with occasionally a partial fourth.


    Damage is caused when scales settle on fruit. Their feeding causes a kind of callous tissue to form on the skin, which gives the fruit a warty appearance. It is particularly noticeable if the fruit is canned or candied.


    A wasp parasite (Aphytis sp.), imported in 1949 from France, generally gives excellent control of the fig scale. If the scale parasite has been disrupted for some reason, chemical control may be necessary. Treatments applied during the dormant season will adequately control the scale in most cases and have the least disruptive effect on the parasites.

    Common name Amount to use REI‡ PHI‡
    (Example trade name) (hours) (days)
    Not all registered pesticides are listed. The following are ranked with the pesticides having the greatest IPM value listed first—the most effective and least harmful to natural enemies, honey bees, and the environment are at the top of the table. When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to air and water quality, resistance management, and the pesticide's properties and application timing. Always read the label of the product being used.
      (Omni Supreme Spray) 3 gal/acre or 4 0
        2 gal/100 gal water    
      MODE OF ACTION: Contact including smothering and barrier effect.
    Restricted entry interval (REI) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (PHI) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
    # Acceptable for use on organically grown produce.
    Text Updated: 01/09
    Treatment Table Updated: 01/09