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House Plants/Treating Scale on Schefflera


OOps, I forgot to add this in... Is rubbing alcohol at all toxic to the plant?  I am looking for the least toxic method for the plant & creatures. And, In the past I've swabbed off scale to physically remove it after spraying it(at the time with insecticidal soap). Why did you not mention that as part of the treatment?

Hi Ti,

Diluted rubbing alcohol (5 parts water, 1 part alcohol) is not toxic to Schefflera or most other indoor plants.

None of the treatments I have mentioned are toxic to plants or people or pets. However, they are toxic to the insect pests being treated because that is the purpose of using them.

Insecticidal soap is not as effective in treating scale because it does not break down the hard outer shell of the scale as effectively as the other products I mentioned. It is safe to use and can be effective if you are willing to do a lot of wiping.

I have written an article on treating indoor plant pests that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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