Active Member
I have been battling scale for about three years. For a year and a half I used Bayer 3in1 which would keep the crotons scale-free for about 2-3 months. They kept coming back so I sprayed the ground for ants as well as the 3in1. They still came back. I learned that the 3in1 was bad for bees so I stopped using it. I sprayed with soap a couple times but basically got fed up. I took a break, or didn't have time, and the scales really took off. They weren't killing the plants so I just left them. After a while a saw some Mealy Bug Destroyers, which eat the scale and later turn into Lady Bugs. I refrained from any spraying and spread them around once or twice. Today, 2-3 months later, my crotons are covered in Lady Bugs and Mealy Bug Destroyers and 95% scale free. Great news!

Jeff Searle

Well-Known Member
That is good news! I'm also seeing more mealybug destroyers on my crotons these days. The only problem is getting used to seeing these and not freakin out. Your first reaction is to go out and spray. Lol! I haven't see many in my yard yet, so the scale is still a big problem. But...I think their days are numbered.


Esteemed Member
Toby, that's a great feeling to know the pest is being taken care of in the way nature intended. I can't speak for crotons since I have few, but in my organic veggie garden the same thing happens. Every year when the aphids come I fret and fret. Just when I'm ready to give up and think in no way will anything get rid of these, the ladybug larvae come and clean them up almost completely! It's like a miracle when it happens. Whitefly is also cleaned up but only to the point where it doesn't affect the plant. In any case, the yield is not affected by pests.

I've decided to spray all growing tips of crotons weekly with a weak solution of Dr. Bronner's magic soap. I just carry the spray bottle around once a week when I'm looking at the plants and checking them and squirt a little on the new leaves/petioles. Mostly it discourages ants I think. I don't know whether it would discourage ladybugs, but they don't come until there's a good population of juicy pests anyway. Gotta get out there today and do it!:D Ana


Esteemed Member
Toby - This is a good announcement, not a great one :eek:

A great announcement would have been hosting a croton tour at your fabulous garden. :p