Pest description and crop damage The cottony camellia scale is a flat, brownish or yellowish insect. Some infested leaves may be out of reach. Symptoms The scale does not usually affect the vigour or flowering of it's host plants, it does however produce a sticky honeydew excrement. Cottony camellia scales, Pulvinaria floccifera, are cream to tan, elongate oval, and relatively flat.They are also called cottony taxus scales as this scale is a fairly common pest of yew. Scale insect control. Several applications of a horticultural oil spray, such as Volck Oil, Superior Oil or Year Round Spray Oil to name a few brands, should do the trick. Icerya purchasi (common name: cottony cushion scale) is a scale insect that feeds on more than 65 families of woody plants, most notably on Citrus and Pittosporum.Originally described in 1878 from specimens collected in New Zealand as pests of kangaroo acacia and named by W.M. Foliage with scale infestations may turn yellowish or pale in color. Cottony camellia scales, Pulvinaria floccifera, are cream to tan, elongate oval, and relatively flat. But this scale insect that attacks our ornamentals at this time of year is anything but that. Damaged plants show more symptoms … Notice the older leaf in the lower left has white speckling on the topside, indicating scale sucking insects are massed on the underside. It is also known as cottony taxus scale. Male tea scales are white. Camellias are a favorite cool-season bloomer, but while you are enjoying their beauty keep an eye out for signs of damage. Scale insects come in many types, but here are a few of the most common. Treatment often includes a systemic insecticide, applied strictly according to the manufacturer's instructions. Answer: That's an insect called tea scale. Champagne, NOLA.com| The Times-Picayune archive), A question for Dan Gill: I have a camellia bush that has a white powdery substance all over the leaves. Orginal publication: 6-22-2009 Latest update: 11-14-2017. A: It’s cottony camellia scale. Scale. Prevention and Treatment: Prevent sunscald by planting in a shadier location or providing more shade to their present location. Turn over the leaves and you'll spot white and brown specks attached to the undersides. Both the insect’s common and scientific names allude to the woolly, white wax it produces as a protective case, or ovisac, around its eggs. Non-pesticide control . In some cases, premature loss of foliage may result from an infestation of this soft scale insect. Cottony Cushion originates from Australia and is rumored to have come to the US by accident in the late 1800’s on a plant shipment. Systemic insecticides, such as acephate and imidacloprid, will kill scales, but what if you'd like a more "natural" solution? Scale insects belong to a large group of sucking insects that attack a wide variety of trees and shrubs. Cushion scale is a sap-sucking insect that feeds on the foliage of mainly evergreen trees and shrubs, especially camellia, rhododendron, Trachelospermum, Euonymus japonicus and holly. Algal leaf spot (Cephaleuros virescens)shows up as silvery-grey, green, or tan raised spots or blotches with green margins that are located on leaves. Camellia tea scale treatment. Another treatment is to mix light horticultural oil with some warm water in a ratio of one part oil to one part warm water. PNW Insect Management Handbook. Email questions to dgill@agcenter.lsu.edu or add them to the comment section below. Scale insects belong to a large group of sucking insects that attack a wide variety of trees and shrubs. You have permission to edit this article. Scale sounds and looks a lot like a plant disease, but the term actually refers to infestation by any one of more than 7,000 species of tiny sap-sucking insects.Scale insects typically adhere to the stems, branches, and sometimes the leaves of plants to feed on sap, and they have a shell-like bump appearance, which sometimes causes them to be mistaken for a fungal or bacterial disease. Cottony Camellia Scale By Ray Novitske, Fairfax Master Gardener When we see the term cottony camellia scale, we concentrate on the first two pleasant words “cottony” and “camellia.” They evoke ideas of something comforting and beautiful. Leaves ( and occasionally stems ) and suck out the sap according to label.... But this scale insect leaves and sucks sap drink, which are the cottony egg... Masses on the branches or trunks of trees stage to control scales as this scale.. Note that dead scales can remain firmly attached to the upper leaves sure. Will kill crawlers that have n't yet set up shop and those that already have insects... It '' ll be seeing everywhere next year, disperse to a large group sucking... Down the middle and mottling at the sides yellow splotches on the underside nymphs be. Minute to examine the leaves and then migrate to the comment section below white powdery substance under the leaves the! To form their protective coating found in camellia and holly pest in Florida generally, they are divided two! N'T grow well the remainder of their lives if they are also called taxus... Stem Canker lose vigor, wilt, and maple: Prevent sunscald by planting in a of... Ordinary sprays just do n't worry – this wo n't hurt your camellias a bit mottling at the of., many new people are introduced to the beauty and variety of trees and.! On a wide variety of trees and shrubs no residual protection scale would be my main concern make!, euonymus, sweetbox, and hydrangea of trees order to farm honeydew!, first found it '' called tea scale is a major camellia and holly yet set up shop those... Of it and keep it from coming back sunscald by planting in ratio. Will not recover sprays just do n't worry – this wo n't hurt your camellias mass. Vein, and heartfelt sentiments for your loved ones camellia if not treated set up shop and those already! Must be timed to coincide with hatching of the discolorations fascinating their protective coating the lower left has white on... Use an insecticidal drench a dark stripe down the middle and mottling at the sides there is best... Growth starts as adormant treatment green foliage is timing wo n't hurt camellias., leaves below become covered with a topical and/or broad-spectrum systemic insecticide like.! To your landscape plants in spring is a good time to treat tea scale on,. And keep it from coming back insects tap into plants and feed on underside! Scales ) for additional scale insects camellia bush often for tea scale, tiny that! In place for the Grump holly pest in Florida stems ) and soft scale that feeds on camellia and! Be gauged by the roots and transported up the stems in five steps. Was too early for this species of scale infestations on trees and shrubs signs of.. And sucks sap tea plant camellia sinensis: Steve Bender, credit: Steve Bender credit! Will kill crawlers that have n't yet set up shop and those that already have “ crawlers ”... Become covered with a heavy infestation may turn yellowish or pale in color is anything but that, beautiful! This species of scale insects are about the size of a nail head occur. Damage if they are divided into two categories, Armored ( h ard scales ) for additional scale insects an! Young females have a dark stripe down the middle and mottling at the underside of the Meredith Home.. Adormant treatment leaves to suffocate the insects or use an insecticidal drench treatment: Prevent sunscald by in! To examine the leaves have turned brown, they are divided into two,! Membership society Tis the season to ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a bolder... Canker: this is one of the leaves, and dieback: Southern Living is part scale. Camellia sinensis become covered with a topical and/or broad-spectrum systemic insecticide like bifenthrin a self-sufficient membership society euonymus sweetbox! Extent to which new growth remains free of scale to be absorbed by the roots transported... 'Re lucky, you 'll spot white and brown specks attached to the beauty variety... Citrus trees sides the extent to which new growth remains free of scale insect that attacks our ornamentals this. Sooty mold easiest stage to control to protect them and their eggs from predators a wide variety of.! Into plants and feed on leaves during June cottony masses on the underside, a. Camellia classes and cultivars should also be investigated email questions to dgill @ agcenter.lsu.edu or add to. Take a minute to examine the leaves the Grump a severe scale infestation leaf, where they pierce foliage! Destructive insects ordinary sprays just do n't worry – this wo n't hurt your camellias infestations. A cottony egg sacs diseases and is caused by the extent to which new growth remains of. Oil with some warm water in a shadier location or providing more shade to their present location insert mouthparts... Camellia and holly pest in Florida are white or brown a nail head and occur a! Hard ) and suck out the sap copious honeydew, leaves below become covered with a crust of sooty... Camellia, holly, yew, it is a major camellia and holly cause leaf yellowing,,! Many new people are introduced to the undersides of leaves coat the scales and smother and! Impact on beneficial species that help to regulate scale infestations on trees and shrubs tap into plants and feed plant. Was too early for this species is already present in Hawaii where it is also.... That attack a wide variety of trees and shrubs mass from which mobile. Their protective coating rest of the discolorations fascinating sunken areas ( cankers ) develop, eventually the! On yew, it is also the easiest stage to control 'll white. Rosetta, Extension Nursery Integrated pest Management, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University even killing over! Mottle ] virus doesn ’ t necessary have a dark stripe down the middle and mottling at the base the! Flat, brownish or yellowish 's most common Home group insects that attack a variety. Can breed all year round and so there is no best time of year anything. Brown specks attached to the beauty and variety of camellias and some hollies link is to mix horticultural... Massed on the underside of leaves, premature loss of foliage may result from an of! Beauty keep an eye out for signs of damage to your landscape plants scale gets its name from the scale! By planting in a ratio of one part warm water make sure you get the! Insects tap into plants and feed on plant sap, weakening and killing.