Scale insects are sap-sucking pests that draw nutrients from plants and excrete a sugary liquid called honeydew. These insects are common in Australian vineyards but typically do not cause enough damage to warrant action to control them. In some circumstances, however, the population can reach a threshold where intervention is required to avoid fruit being downgraded or rejected. Because scale insects have not been considered a high priority for viticultural research, knowledge about their biology and ecology in vineyards is limited. This page provides links to a range of resources on scale insects in vineyards.
Fact sheets, webinars and other links
- Scale – insect pests of vineyards (AWRI fact sheet)
- Scale – factors influencing their prevalence and control (AWRI fact sheet)
- Managing scale in vineyards (AWRI webinar 9 June 2015)
- Sooty mould red winemaking trial (AWRI webinar 30 November 2017)
- Advances in scale control (AWRI webinar 14 October 2021)
- Scale insects and the Vitis vinifera cv. Shiraz -reason for high incidence of scales. Final report to Wine Australia. Project AGW 1702.
- Wine Australia’s resources on grapevine scale and sooty mould
- Ask the AWRI: sooty mould (PDF article)
- Sooty mould trial update – sensory testing after two years (Technical Review article)
- Cover crops and vineyard biodiversity (Wine Australia fact sheet)
References and further reading
Cooper, P.D., Venus, J. 2020. Climate change and its influence on scale insects and sooty mould occurrence. Beames, K.S., Robinson, E.M.C., Dry, P.R., Johnson, D.L. (eds) Proceedings of the 17th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference, Adelaide, South Australia 21-24 July 2019. Urrbrae, SA: The Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference Inc.: 40–44.
Hayes, A., Neeman, T., Cooper, P.D. 2017. Overwintering survival of grapevine scale Parthenolecanium persicae (Hemiptera: Coccidae) in the Canberra region of Australia. Austral Entomol. 58(2): 346-353.
Simbiken, N.A., Powell, K.S., Cooper, P.D. 2017. Scale back on scale in the vineyard. Aust. N.Z. Grapegrower Winemaker. 645: 42-47.
Simbiken, N.A., Cooper, P.D., Powell, K.S. 2015. Development and feeding effect of frosted scale Parthenolecanium pruinosum Cocquillet (Hemiptera: Coccidae) on selected Vitis vinifera L. cultivars. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 21: 451-457.