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Pine Needle Scale

Pine Needle Scale
Pine Needle Scales are mostly found in pine and spruce trees. Mature scales are tiny insects that are covered by a white, oblong, waxy protective covering that is 2.5 to 3 mm in length. Scales overwinter as eggs beneath female scales on the needles. In mid-May (eastern Nebraska) crawlers hatch and migrate to new needles on the tree. The crawlers then molt to an immobile nymph stage that feeds on the sap and secretes the scale covering.

In the Central Great Plains (central Nebraska), scales mature in July and lay eggs for a second generation. In the Northern Great Plains, scales mature and lay eggs in the fall. By August needles become spotted with white elongated scales. Damaged needles are discolored and may fall prematurely, while severely infested trees are less vigorous and occasionally may be killed.