Control for large white scale on camellia stems

Asked February 1, 2020, 4:18 PM EST

I planted a camellia last spring, purchased from Lowe’s in White Marsh. The stems are covered in large white scale, could be florida wax scale? Need help with ID and recommended control measures. Middle River, MD. I’d like to add more camellias but not until I get rid of the scale on this one. Also it is starting to spread to an adjacent Inkberry planted about 5-6 feet away. Can they be manually pulled / scraped off or is a spray control most effective?

Baltimore County Maryland indian wax scale camellia shrub pest insect

1 Response

This looks like Indian wax scale, a soft scale (white humped insect.) They are difficult to control and are insects that feed on the sap of many different host plants.
They produce honeydew and sooty mold which may cause early leaf yellowing and leaf drop.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soft-scales-trees-and-shrubs.

Generally, the best thing to do is to pick them off by hand and discard in the trash now. Monitor the shrubs. The next step would be in mid-June to pull off female wax scales every 1-2 weeks and examine them to determine when all eggs have hatched usually about mid-July. Apply double-sided sticky tape around the branches to monitor for crawlers in early June. Crawlers begin hatching in mid-June. Infested twigs and branches must be thoroughly sprayed with a summer rate of horticultural oil after egg hatch usually the last two weeks of July to kill crawlers before they are covered with white wax.

Marian