Cottony Camellia Scale Diagnostic Guide
Cottony camellia scale (Pulvinaria floccifera) is a soft scale causing mostly aesthetic damage, though it can weaken plants making them susceptible to other insects/diseases. Cottony ovisacs make this scale relatively easy to identify along with copious amounts of honeydew.
Trees at Risk
Common hosts of the cottony camellia scale include: camellia, holly, yew, euonymous, maple, mulberry, hydrangea, rhododendron, and English ivy.
Signs of Damage
- Light green leaves.
- The insect is 1/8 inch long, oval, yellowish tan, with a brown margin.
- Forms cottony ovisac.
- Often on the underside of foliage.
- Sooty mold is often associated with CCS.
- Scales are cream to tan and elongate oval and relatively flat body.
- Young females have a dark stripe down the middle and mottling at the sides.
- Older scales are dark brown.
- Eggs are laid in an ovisac produced beneath and behind the female.
- Ovisacs are two or more times longer than the scales and are relatively flat, white, and fluffy.
- Cottony ovisacs are laid in May.
- Crawlers hatch in late May/June.
- Female insect overwinters as instars.
- Females mature in spring and lay eggs.
- One generation per year.
This is not an overly difficult insect to control. It is capable of laying up to 1,000 eggs at a time though, so monitoring is important. Large populations of scales are more difficult to control.
Other Treatment Practices
Maintain plant health and monitor closely for this insect.
Good results should be possible with the above treatments.
A Diagnostic Guide is designed to help you identify a pest issue and management solutions. Always refer to product label for all rates and approved uses. Some images courtesy forestryimages.org. Use of the images does not imply endorsement of treatments by forestryimages.org