Pest:Scale insects

Among the different scales recorded in black pepper Mussel scale (L.piperis) and coconut scale (A.destructor) cause serious damage to pepper. Infestation is mostly seen on vines at higher altitudes and in nursery. Females of mussel scales are elongated; about 1 mm in length, boat shaped and dark brown while that of coconut scales are circular about 1mm diameter and yellowish . Soft scale (Marsipococcus marsupiale) is a soft flat scale seen infesting the foliage at higher elevations.

  • pest 10
  • pest 11
  • pest 12


  • Mussel and coconut scales infest stems, leaves , petioles and berries in large numbers.
  • The scale insects are sedentary; remaining permanently fixed to plant parts and appears as encrustations.
  • They feed on plant sap causing yellowing and wilting of infested portions.
  • In severe cases of infestation the affected portions dry up.
  • Pest infestation is more severe during post monsoon and summer months.
  • As a result of soft scale infestation the leaves become yellow wither and fall.
  • When the vines are attacked the infested vines wilt and dry up.

Procedure for Observation

Mark 20standards at random from the plots and estimate number of damaged plants.


  • Mere presence.
  • Control Measures

  • Clip off and destroy severely infested branches
  • Spray dimethoate @ 0.1% (Roger 30 EC).
  • Repeat spraying after three weeks.
  • Spray Verticillium lecanii formulation 20 g /l or 5ml/l.
  • Control against scale should be initiated during early stages of infestation.