Description of the Pest
Italian pear scale overwinters mostly as a mature scale. The cover is circular, about 0.06 inch (1.5 mm) in diameter, and light gray, but with a brown peak slightly off-center. Underneath the covering, the female's body is reddish purple. The scale is hidden under moss and lichens and cannot survive without this natural shelter.
This scale does not feed on fruit, but feeds directly on the wood of the tree, affecting tree vigor and causing reduced fruit size.
Although widely distributed, Italian pear scale is rarely a pest in commercial pear orchards.
Organically Acceptable Methods
Bordeaux mixtures are acceptable if all ingredients are certified by the organic grower's agent.
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. For more information on Bordeaux mixtures and how to mix them, see UC IPM Pest Note: Bordeaux Mixture.