University of Maryland Extension

Cottony Camellia Scale - Shrubs

Return to Soft Scales - Trees and Shrubs 

cottony camellia scale on holly leaves
Cottony camellia scale on holly

cottony taxus scale on yew needles
Cottony taxus scale on yew. Also black
sooty mold

Key Points

  • Cottony camellia scale is a soft scale that feeds on camellia, holly, yew, euonymus, sweetbox, and maple.  It is also reported on beautyberry, jasmine, mulberry, and hydrangea.
  • It is also known as cottony taxus scale. 
  • Adult females are about 1/8 inch long, oval and yellowish tan with a brown margin.
  • They lay white cottony ovisacs (egg masses) on the undersides of leaves in May.
  • Crawlers hatch through June and remain on the undersides of the leaves through winter.
  • Heavy infestations in the spring may cause the leaves to turn light green.
  • Honeydew (a sticky substance produced by the scale insects as they feed) and sooty mold (a black fungus that grows on top of the honeydew, see photo below) are the primary problems caused by this insect.
  • If infestations are heavy and sooty mold is objectionable, spray horticultural oil in the dormant season. During the growing season use horticultural oil or insecticidal soap to conserve beneficials.

black sooty mold growing on leaves
Sooty mold on sweetbox (Sarcococca spp.)

holly leaf covered with black sooty mold
Holly leaves covered with sooty mold


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