Tea Scale Insect Identification

Tea scale populations, can infest a number of woody ornamental plants, yet are most commonly found  on Camellia shrub foliage.

In many situations Cottony Scale and Tea Scale will be found together making pesticide application timing important.

Tea scale is the most serious insect pest of flowering camellias. Tea scale also attacks hollies, citrus and the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) as well as a few other plants. Tea scale is a small insect that attaches itself to the leaf and sucks plant juices much like Cottony Scale

Tea Scale Main Symptoms

Black sooty mold on the upper leaf surface in winter-spring; scale insects and white egg masses on the underside of leaves in spring and early summer.

Most Active

All year round


Like other scales, tea scale decreases the vitality of its host by sucking phloem sap from the leaves, twigs, branches, and trunk. Feeding can result in defoliation and die back of twigs and small branches when infestations are extremely heavy. Like other soft scales, cottony cushion scale excretes honeydew, which is usually accompanied by blackish sooty mold growth and ants.