Giant pine scale - video transcript
- [Narrator] -
There's a new insect being found in Melbourne's south-east called giant pine scale. Giant pine scale is a tiny scale insect that feeds on the sap of pine, fir, and spruce trees. Between November and January, each female produces over 300 eggs, which hatch into crawlers between late November to May. Giant pine scale infested trees have white cotton wool-like wax on their trunks and branches. Adults typically prefer the trunk, however it can also be found on branches. They continue to grow up to 12 millimetres, and around September, they produce eggs within their bodies and eventually die.
The problem with giant pine scale, is that they eventually kill trees they live on. Heavily infested trees can dry up and die from the insects drinking the tree's sap, impacting parks, forests, plantations and homes and the aesthetic value of neighbourhoods if not managed.
Giant pine scale spreads by crawling between host trees and by people moving infested plant material, gardening equipment, and machinery. Take care to avoid spreading the pest if it's on your property or one you're working on. Consider cutting down the entire tree. Dispose of infested tree material via your green rubbish bin or by leaving them on your property if there is enough land. Clean all plant material off used gardening equipment using a solution of 80% methylated spirits and 20% water and paper towel.
For advice on managing trees on your property, speak to an arborist or tree specialist. Arborists or tree specialists who work with host or infested trees should practice good hygiene to avoid spreading giant pine scale to other properties. Check and decontaminate your clothing, machinery and tools for signs of pest, soil or plant material before leaving the property.
When transporting infested material for disposal, remember to fully cover up your load, so that infested plant materials don't fall of during transit. If you find giant pine scale on a pine, spruce or fir tree outside of Melbourne's south-east, report it to Agriculture Victoria. Avoid collecting samples from infested trees, as this can spread the insect further.
For more information on managing giant pine scale, visit www.vic.gov.au/giantpinescale.