Pest Notice: Gloomy Scale

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What you need to know

Aug. 14, 2019: The City of Nixa is trying to raise awareness about a relatively new pest to Missouri which is already damaging trees in Nixa and may continue to spread throughout the state.

The Nixa area is being invaded by a pest insect known as Gloomy Scale. It primarily feeds on red maples, but also on other maple species, elm, hackberry, and sycamore. In severe cases the pest can cause defoliation, branch dieback, or even tree death. Trees without sufficient soil moisture are at higher risk.

The City of Nixa employs a certified arborist who is working with city staff to protect trees on public property in Nixa, but we also want to warn the public so they can defend their trees against this damaging pest.

The public needs to be aware of Gloomy Scale and the damage it can cause to trees.

  • Look for gray bumps or white dots on trunks or limbs.
  • Water your trees 2-3 times per month during dry conditions.
  • Contact a certified arborist for consultation and/or treatment.

The pest’s scientific name is Melanaspis tenebricosa. It is an armored scale insect which has been reported across the Ozarks from Branson and Springfield to Lake of the Ozarks.

Gloomy Scale can be very abundant in parking lot and street landscapes where a warmer microclimate exists. It is common to find affected trees with nearly 100% of their main trunk and mid to lower canopy branches covered in scale.

Download an informational flyer about Gloomy Scale.

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