How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Pit scales—Asterolecaniidae family

Mature scales are white, brown, gold or green, flattened, circular immobile insects about the size of the head of a pin. The most common pit scale problems in California are the oak pit scales, which are detailed in the Oak Pit Scale Pest Note. The pit-making pittosporum scale Planchonia arabidis occurs on pittosporum and bamboo scale infests only bamboo.


The pit-making pittosporum scale leaves ring-shaped depressions in bark giving twigs a distored, swollen, and pitted appearance. Leaves may be dwarfed and twigs may die back. The bamboo scale may occur in large groups on stems and leaves, but doesn't harm plants or leave pits.


No management is required for bamboo scale. Management practices for pit-making pittosporum scale have not been investigated.

Oak pit nymphs
Oak pit scale nymphs

Golden oak scale and pit on twig
Golden oak scale and pits on twig

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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