Grapevine scale

Parthenolecanium persicae
Grapevine scale is an increasing problem for Australian grape producers where, in high numbers, they can reduce the vigour of grapevines. These soft scale feed on sap secreting honeydew which in addition to attracting ants, commonly leads to the development of sooty mould. This mould can form on all parts of the vine, including the fruit, and can lead to the grapes being downgraded or rejected by the market.

Refer to links below for more information on different scale species.
Scale in grapes


Grapevine scale can be difficult to distinguish from the other common scale of vineyards, frosted scale. While both types of scale are dark brown, grapevine scale are often slightly larger and oblong in shape while frosted scale is more rounded and has a powdery wax appearance. 

Scale infestations are often patchy across a vineyard and as they are found on the stems and underside of leaves, sprayers should be set up to ensure good coverage.


Scale can be difficult to detect at low densities, however the presence of ants and sooty mould are good indicators they are present.

While vines should be monitored for scale throughout the growing season, monitoring underneath the bark on spurs, canes and cordons whilst vines are dormant can be an indicator of population density. If scale is detected, these areas should be tagged for further monitoring and possible treatment. A number of beneficial insects will prey on grapevines scale including parasitic wasps which can attack mature scale.

Movento® is soft on many beneficial insects, including parasitic wasps, pirate bugs, hoverflies and lacewings. It is registered for the suppression of grapevine scale in grapes.  

Related Pests


Buchan, G (2008), ‘AgNote: Soft Scales (Coccidae) on Grapevines in Australia’, Department of Environment and Primary Industries,

The Australian Wine Research Institute (2018), ‘Fact Sheet Viticulture: Scale – insect pests of vineyards’,

Wine Australia (2019), ‘Grapevine scale and sooty mould’,