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Preventing wax scale insects on coffee plants


Wax scale insects are a common pest on coffee plants, often thriving during the rainy season and early dry season, causing significant damage to farmers. Preventing wax scale insects on coffee plants is a concern of various organizations, disseminating information to ensure quality and yield for the upcoming season.


Wax scale disease on coffee plants


Wax scale insects, which damage coffee fruits, typically appear from the blooming stage of coffee flowers until the end of the harvest season. This type of disease is commonly found in coffee plants and can spread relatively quickly, causing headaches for many farmers.


Understanding wax scale insects


The scientific name of the wax scale insect that damages coffee fruits is Planococcus branchiae. The insect’s body is pink but covered with a white wax layer, hence the name wax scale. They have a lifespan of 26 to 40 days, with the egg stage lasting from 5 to 7 days. Female scales lay eggs on leaf crevices, flower clusters, and young fruit clusters. A single female scale can lay up to 500 eggs per generation. After hatching, the nymphs crawl out within 2 to 3 days and quickly seek a permanent habitat.


Timing of wax scale disease occurrence


Wax scale insects on coffee plants typically appear when coffee trees are in bloom until the end of the harvest season. The period when wax scales cause the most damage is during the dry season and early rainy season, decreasing significantly during the interim rainy season period. They often attach to young shoots, branches, fruit clusters, and root stems to suck the plant’s sap, causing withering, flower drop, and premature fruit drop. Wax scale insects also have a symbiotic relationship with ant species similar to green scales and brown scales.


How do wax scale insects harm coffee plants?


Preventing wax scale insects on coffee plants

Wax scale insects cause coffee fruit to dry out.

Coffee trees heavily infested with wax scale insects often develop a layer of black sooty mold, reducing photosynthesis efficiency, causing leaves to turn yellow, and leading to gradual fruit drying and subsequent shedding. The damage caused by wax scale insects can also injure fruit stems, creating conditions for fungal infections that cause fruit rot and mass dropping. In severe cases, prolonged exposure to intense sunlight can lead to tree withering and death.


Preventing wax scale insects on coffee plants


During mid-March when coffee trees are blooming and fruiting, this is when wax scale insects attack and proliferate, causing significant damage to coffee plantations. Preventive measures against wax-scale insects should be implemented promptly to minimize losses and protect farmers’ coffee plantations.

Cultural practices for preventing wax scale insects:

– Prune branches to promote air circulation and remove weeds; care for coffee trees to ensure healthy growth and minimize wax scale damage.
– When wax scales are newly detected with low rates of branch damage, affected branches can be cut and burned.

Regularly inspect coffee plantations, especially during dry months, to detect the presence of wax scale insects and take timely measures for control.

Biological control measures:

Farmers can introduce natural enemies such as ladybugs, lacewings, predatory beetles, and predatory mites, which help to eliminate wax-scale insects.

Chemical control measures:

For this approach, farmers use various chemical pesticides to spray on coffee plants to control the rampant wax scale infestation.

– For plantations with low wax scale density, biological control agents such as Abamectin, Azadirachtin, fungi (Paecilomyces, Beauveria, Metarhizium) can be used for prevention. For plantations with high wax scale density, chemical pesticides containing active ingredients such as Alpha-Cypermethrin, Dimethoate, Acetamiprid, Benfuracarb, Buprofezin should be used. These pesticides need to be mixed according to the recommended concentration for thorough spraying on affected branches, clusters, and fruit clusters.

– Plantations with high wax scale density and risk of spreading may need to be sprayed over the entire infected area. During irrigation, high-pressure water nozzles can be used to spray onto branches, flower clusters, and fruit clusters with wax scale insects to dislodge the dry flower petals and break the wax layer, making pesticide application more effective.


– For localized wax scale infestations, it’s essential to mark the affected trees for direct pesticide spraying to avoid waste of effort, money, and environmental pollution.

– Careful spraying onto fruit clusters is crucial to ensure that the pesticide can contact the eggs and nymphs of wax scale insects.

The News has provided readers with information about wax scale disease on coffee plants and effective prevention methods to ensure quality and yield for the upcoming season. Coffee trees are susceptible to various pests and diseases, so farmers should regularly visit their plantations, pay attention to tree symptoms, and take preventive measures early on.

Stay tuned for more useful information from us!

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