Female soft scales can lay up to 200 eggs underneath their body. These hatch into small pink crawler nymphs which move over the plant surface before settling down to feed. They are small enough to be easily blown around in wind currents and this is the main way that plants are colonised. The nymphs suck sap from the leaves and stems and, once feeding has commenced, they usually remain immobile for the remainder of their lives.
In warm conditions breeding is continuous throughout the year.
A waxy layer is secreted over their bodies to form the scale, and this layer gives them some protection from pesticides.