Pinyon needle scale eggs have already hatched in southeastern Payson, Trailwood, Beaver Valley Estates and Round Valley. The immature scale crawlers, which appear as tiny dots, have emerged from an egg state and attached to the needles on the ends of the branches.
This stage of the insect damages pinyons every year.
It is too late to remove the egg masses laid by female scales in April; however, the crawlers can be chemically treated using an EPA-approved insecticide. The insecticide label should state that the chemical is for treatment of scale crawlers. Trees should be treated before the scale insect develops a thick protective cover.
Unless there are local water restrictions, consider slow, deep, and infrequent watering of the infested pinyons around your hom, with a properly installed and maintained drip system, or with a soaker hose placed around the drip line of the tree. Continue watering until the monsoon rains start.
Refer to the Cooperative Extension watering brochure at http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/water/az1298.pdf for more information.
Contact Bob Celaya, forest health specialist, at (602) 771-1415 or the Office of the State Forester Payson office at (928) 474-2689 for further information about the insect or other forest health concerns in the Payson area.