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Species Page

olive scale

Saissetia oleae
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)
Cajanus cajan (pigeon pea)
Coffea (coffee)
Coffea arabica (arabica coffee)
Cycas revoluta (sago cycas)
Erica (heaths)
Euphorbia pulcherrima (poinsettia)
Gossypium (cotton)
Ilex (Holly)
Laurus nobilis (sweet bay)
Nerium (oleander)
Olea (olive)
Olea europaea subsp. europaea (European olive)
Pelargonium zonale hybrids
Persea americana (avocado)
Prunus (stone fruit)
Psidium (guava)
Psidium guajava (guava)
Punica granatum (pomegranate)
Pyrus (pears)
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)
Spondias (purple mombin)
Tamarix (tamarisk)

List of symptoms / signs

Leaves - abnormal leaf fall
Leaves - abnormal leaf fall
Leaves - honeydew or sooty mould
Leaves - honeydew or sooty mould
Leaves - wilting
Stems - external feeding


S. oleae colonies extract large quantities of sap, causing general host debilitation and build-up of sticky honeydew deposits on nearby surfaces. The honeydew may attract attendant ants. Sooty moulds grow on the sugary deposits. Badly fouled leaves may be dropped prematurely. The older insects are usually quite easy to see as dark grey or brown-to-black lumps on leaf undersides and stems.

Prevention and control

Regulatory Control

Planting material of host-plant species of S. oleae should be inspected in the growing season before shipment and should be free of infestation. A phytosanitary certificate should guarantee absence of the pest from consignments of either planting material or produce.

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:


S. oleae is one of the most important pests of citrus in the Mediterranean Basin, Florida, California and South America (Bartlett, 1978). Gill (1988) considered it to be the most injurious soft scale in California, and the most important pest of citrus there until 1940; he also reports it as a serious pest of olives. Removal of large quantities of sap debilitate the plant and can cause wilting, desiccation of tissues and dieback. Sooty mould growth on honeydew deposits screen light and air from the leaves and impair photosynthesis, promoting premature leaf drop. Such damage reduces overall yield and quality of produce.