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Significant toxicity does not protect oleander from pest infestation. The evergreen leaves are primarily targeted by scale insects in order to feast on the rich plant sap. As long as the exotic blossom beauty stays outside in the summertime, busy beneficial insects keep the pests in check. In the winter quarters, on the other hand, there is a risk of the parasites spreading explosively. This guide has compiled 5 home remedies to combat it. How to get rid of scale insects on a rose laurel in harmony with nature.

Scale insects on the oleander

Typical symptoms

How to recognize scale insect infestation

Of the more than 3,000 scale insect species, about 100 romp around in Europe. The most well-known representatives are cover scale insects (Diaspididae), scale insects (Coccidae) and the dreaded mealybugs and mealybugs (Pseudococcidae). However, only an entomologist who specializes in entomology on scale insects can identify the differences between the categories. Regardless of the wide range of species, the harmful insects reveal themselves to the oleander gardener through corresponding, unmistakable symptoms:

  • Yellowed and stained leaves
  • Stunted growth of foliage, buds and shoots
  • Sticky coating due to honeydew excretion of the lice
  • Brown, black or yellowish bumps on the leaves and shoots
  • White, woolly coating that smears to the touch
  • Increased leaf fall in the advanced stage

If there is an oleander in a bucket on the balcony or terrace, an increased occurrence of ants indicates a scale insect infestation. Because ants seek the sugary honeydew that the pests excrete. If an ant-populated route forms in the direction of the rose laurel, examine the flowering shrub promptly for scale insects and other plant lice.

fight scale insects

Immediate Action - Change site conditions

Before you dedicate yourself to the use of a powerful home remedy, the general conditions at the location are put to the test. The main causes of infestation with scale insects are a lack of light and excessive temperatures in the winter quarters. Since spatial separation from other plants makes sense anyway, order the affected oleander to change location. In the bright place with a cool 5 °C to 10 °C, the pests are on the collar.

home remedies

water and toothbrush

When the first scale insects appear on the glossy green foliage, the oleander has been counted. If the prudent gardener then acts promptly, the simplest of all household remedies will nip the threatening plague in the bud. How to fight scale insects with water:

  • Rinse affected leaves with a strong jet of water
  • Protect the root ball from the flood of water with a plastic bag beforehand
  • Remove stubborn infestation with a used toothbrush and lukewarm soapy water
  • Wipe off greasy webs with a damp cloth
  • Pluck out heavily infested oleander leaves

Always edit the tops and bottoms the leaves. Because scale insects have mastered the art of camouflage perfectly and like to hide under the leaves or in the leaf axils. If you find yourself forced to remove scale insect-infested leaves, please throw the remains in the household waste and not on the compost.

soap solution

Penetrating scale insects have nothing to oppose the high efficiency of soap solution. The main component of the home remedy is pure curd soap or soft soap. However, conventional soap products are unsuitable for this purpose and do more harm than good in pest control. Recipe and application are very simple:

  • Boil 1 liter of water and let it cool down
  • then stir in 1 tablespoon of liquid curd or soft soap
  • Add 1 teaspoon of spirit
  • Pour soap solution into a hand sprayer
  • Spray the oleanders thoroughly

Since the soap solution can leave unwanted marks on sensitive floors, spread out an old blanket or foil before using the home remedy. Please make sure that the rose laurel is not in direct sunlight at the time of treatment.

tip: Take the scale insects with the tongs using the two household remedies water and soap solution. In the first step, shower the oleander upright and upside down thoroughly. Immediately afterwards, spray the foliage with a soapy solution. Then repeat the combination of measures at intervals of a few days until you have completely rid your oleander of scale insects.

paraffin oil solution

Instead of curd or soft soap, you can use paraffin oil as the main ingredient for the pesticide. The effectiveness of this home remedy is based on the fact that a thin film of oil covers the pests and their armor and cuts them off from the oxygen supply. It is important to note that you should place the oleander in a semi-shady location during the treatment and in the following two weeks. How to expertly prepare a paraffin oil solution:

  • Pour 1 liter of lime-free water into a saucepan and heat slightly
  • Stir in 12 to 15 grams of paraffin oil
  • Mix in a few dashes of soapy water or dish soap as an emulsifier
  • Pour the paraffin oil solution into a spray bottle
  • Spray on the infested oleander in a shady spot

Alternatively, you can use vegetable oil, such as canola or sunflower oil. It is important to add an emulsifier as a mediator between oil and water. Oleander gardeners report an intensifying effect of the home remedy when a few drops of high-proof alcohol, such as spirit or lemon balm spirit, are added.


High-proof alcohol has the property of penetrating the protective covering of scale insects and killing the lice hidden underneath along with their brood. The following application options have proven themselves in practice to free oleander leaves from scale insects:

  • Dip cotton swabs in alcohol and dab scale insects one by one
  • Fill the lemon balm spirit into an old glass atomizer and spray on all the top and bottom sides
  • Moisten a cloth with alcohol and wipe off leaves infested with scale insects

As is appropriate and sensible for all home remedies, you cannot avoid repeated use when using alcohol. The more thick-leaved an oleander, the shorter the treatment intervals can be. Don't stop fighting until you can't find any more scale insects even with the magnifying glass.

vegetable brew

With more than 1,000 species, the family of mealybugs and mealybugs is particularly well represented within the superfamily of scale insects. Accordingly, oleander gardeners are often confronted with this type of pest. The fact that mealybugs and mealybugs do not have a robust, hardened shell, like cover and scale insects, is advantageous for successful control. This opens up the option of comparatively gentle control with plant brews.

Proven basic ingredients for an effective plant decoction against mealybugs and mealybugs are, for example, wormwood leaves, ferns, onion skins and garlic cloves. How to prepare the brew correctly:

  • Put 1,000 g of fresh fern gum or wormwood leaves in a cauldron
  • Alternatively 500 g fresh garlic cloves and 500 g onion skins
  • Top up with 1 liter of water
  • Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes
  • Leave for a day and strain
  • Dilute the brew with lime-free water in a ratio of 1:10

Then fill the finished, diluted plant brew into a spray bottle. Wet all the oleander leaves dripping wet on the tops and bottoms. The treatment should then be repeated at intervals of 2 to 3 days until there are no longer any symptoms of pest infestation.

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