An armored scale, Melanaspis deklei Dietz & Davidson (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Diaspididae), is recorded for the first time in South Carolina. While not known to be a serious pest of agricultural crops or ornamental plants in its recorded distribution (Mexico, Florida, Georgia, and the West Indies), M. deklei has become a pest of wax myrtle, Myrica cerifera (L.) Small (Myricaceae), grown as ornamental plants in the urban landscape of coastal South Carolina. Infestations have been identified in Horry, Georgetown, and Beaufort Counties, SC. A study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of neonicotinoids (acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam), insect growth regulators (buprofezin and pyriproxyfen), paraffinic oil, and acephate against this armored scale species in 2008 and 2009. None of the tested insecticides achieved significant reduction of scale insect density when compared to the untreated control. There was, however, a trend for plants treated with two applications of pyriproxyfen and paraffinic oil to harbor fewer scale insects. Improvements in the timing and combination of insecticides and alternative management strategies that integrate various chemical, biological, and cultural tools should be developed for the management of M. deklei.
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