They feed by sucking sap and some can weaken host plants, many excrete a sticky substance (honeydew), which allows the growth of sooty moulds. Key Points. The beetles are poisoned when they feed on cottony cushion scale that have ingested imidacloprid. The distinguishing characteristic of these soft scales is the white egg sac (ovisac) produced by female scales in summer. The young crawler stage is also the easiest stage to control. Scale insects belong to a large group of sucking insects that attack a wide variety of trees and shrubs. Cottony scale insects produce a cottony egg mass from which the mobile crawler stage hatches. To get rid of scale insects from your plants, rub their stems with an old toothbrush or a cotton swab dipped in Isopropyl alcohol, which will kill any insects on them. Cottony camellia scale. As its name suggests, cottony maple scale (Pulvinaria innumerabilis) affects mostly maple trees (predominantly silver and red maples). The sticky honeydew will also encourage moulds such as sooty mould. These are in a different family (Mararodidae)than other soft scales (Coccidae) and should not be confused with other cottony scales like cottony maple leaf scale, cottony camilla scale, or oak erriococid scale which is also in a different family (Eriococcidae). In their juvenile growth stage, they are referred to as "crawlers". The developing females and nymphs produce copious amounts of honeydew which can collect on foliage and branches and cause growth of sooty mold. Identify the Scale Insects. . The cottony maple scale is common on maple, boxelder, hackberry, dogwood, beech, apple, oak, linden, honeylocust, and elm. Scale insect is a garden plant pest problem that can be difficult to control. Gardeners with scale insect problems may need to take measures to control them. To make matters worse, imidacloprid is very toxic to vedalia beetles. The cottony maple scale shows up every few years on the twigs of silver maple trees. Some are flat and appear like scales stuck to a plant, while others appear like white cottony masses. Older instars move to the twigs, branches, or trunk to feed. These scales flatten themselves against tree branches to feed. Q: I have scale insects on my maple tree leaves. Pulvinaria innumerabilis. Although the insect does not usually cause much damage to the tree, it is truly a pest to the humans who live below because of the copious honey-dew excretions of the insect. However, it can also be found on other maples, oak, linden, hackberry, honey locust and other trees. Psuedococcidae or ‘Mealybug’. – which is why they’re often referred to as “plant-sucking pests ”. Then, use a garden hose to wash away any loose insects. Cottony Scales include Cottony Camellia Scale (Hollies and verious other plants), Cottony Taxus Scale (Yews), Cottony Maple Scales (Silver Maple, Dogwood and others) and Azalea Bark Scale (Azalea, Andromeda and Rhododendron). Cottony cushion scales can have 2 - 3 generations per year. The biggest problem is the honeydew dripping down on decks, picnic tables, lawn chairs and parked cars. These cottony masses can contains hundreds of eggs each. The cottony maple scale (Pulvinaria innumerabilis) is one of the largest and most conspicuous scale insects in this country. Heavy infestations may cause leaf yellowing, stunting, and dieback. It may be difficult to see the scale if they are covered by the mould. These are most easily rec- ognized part of the life cycle of the cottony maple scale (Pulvinaria innumerabilis), one of the largest and most conspicuous soft scale insects that at-tack ornamental plants. If you have a heavy infestation outdoors, prune away the stems with the most scales. My trees are 30 feet tall. Generally, they are divided into two categories, armored (hard) and soft scale. Scales vary in appearance depending on age, sex, and species. They look like cottony cushion scale but I have never heard of it on maple. Identify cottony maple scale (Pulvinaria innumerabilis), the most common scale insect species to infest maple trees, by their adult female scales with cotton-like egg sacks on their hind ends. Pest description and damage Mature cottony maple scale are small, flat, oval, brown insects 0.25 to 0.375 inch in diameter. Other species of wax scales include tree dwellers like the cottony maple scale (Pulvinaria innumerabilis) or the calico scale (Eulecanium cerasorum). Photo: SD Frank . Each species has a different host range and life cycle. This adventive scale insect from Australia was first found in New Zealand in 1877 after which it became a serious pest on trees and shrubs, including citrus orchards, until controlled by the Australian cardinal ladybird, Rodolia cardinalis (Coccinellidae) and the fly, Cottony cushion scale parasitoid, Cryptochaetum iceryae (Cryptochetidae). A: I am so glad you brought a sample of the insect into the office so … Its favored host is maple trees, although it has been found on a number of other species as well. Also see Armored (h ard scales) for additional scale insects. Scales are unusual insects in appearance. You’ll see these females in early summer, followed by scale crawlers hatching in late June or early July and crawling around on the undersides of the leaves. Jack DeAngelis, PhD OSU Ext. There are more than 25 species of scale insect found in British Gardens. They bite into plant tissue to feed off their sap – yikes! So far this summer, we’ve heard about cottony maple scale “outbreaks” in Dubuque, Linn, Buchanan, and Johnson counties. Females without egg sacs are 1/8 inch (2-3 mm) long, flat, pale to dark brown and soft. Hosts: Maples (especially silver), honeylocust, linden and other hardwoods. Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) are desirable for their delicate, colorful leaves and compact size. You are more likely to spot them when they produce eggs, which are protected by a mass of white, waxy scales. They secrete the white, cottony masses beneath which, they lay 500 or more eggs in late May to early June. A Adult female scale insects attach themselves, limpet like, to leaves or stems and remain immobile, This scale insect has distinctive looks and a penchant for evergreens so they often go unnoticed. “Outbreak” may be too strong a word. The adult scale insect is often like a dark brown limpet, which attaches itself to the stem and branches of plants. Cottony Scale insects produce cottony egg masses from which young crawlers emerge. Although imidacloprid has scale insects listed on the label, it doesn’t kill cottony cushion scale. As crawlers, they are highly mobile, six-legged, have no protective cover, and are usually smaller than a pinhead. It is most commonly found on silver maple trees. Although a heavy infestation may cause some thinning of the canopy, it rarely results in tree death. It is most commonly found on silver maple trees. Adult scale insects are usually covered in waxy shell-like cover. The pest is very common in the tri-city area of Michigan at this time. The cottony white egg sacs of this soft scale appear on undersides of leaves (Figure 1) in May and egg hatch (Figure 2) occurs during June. Pulvinaria innumerabilis (cottony maple scale) is a small, flattened, brown scale insect about 1/8" long. As they eat the sap, they release honeydew onto your succulent’s leaves that can promote rot. Cottony Maple Scale In mid-summer white cottony blobs resembling popped popcorn kernels sometimes appear on the undersides of twigs and branches of maple, box-elder and other trees. Infestations are most easily noticed during the summer when females produce white, cottony egg sacs that resemble pieces of popcorn on a twigs. Severely infested trees look like they are covered with strings of popcorn. The scale overwinters as an immature female on the twigs of the host. In June, female scales begin to produce large, white, cottony egg sacs that may grow to the size of dimes (up to a ½-inch in diameter). The females mature when the plant resumes growth in the spring. Crawlers settle on… Scale insects are a unique group, that look quite different from other insects. Cottony cushion scales retain their legs, eyes, and antennae for their entire life and remain mobile. Cottony cushion scale insects fix themselves to leaves and stems and suck sap. It’s often one or a few trees that are heavily loaded with fluffy, white female egg sacs that look like popcorn on the twigs. Cottony maple scales commonly infest silver maple but can feed on several species including other maples, boxelder, basswood, birch, elm, and linden. While most people don’t realize that mealybugs are a form of scale, they are. The bulk of the concentrated sap bypasses most of the digestive system to the anus, where it is excreted. The "cotton" is actually waxy threads covering as many as 1,500 eggs. What do you think? Usually it is just a nuisance, but in very severe infestations, it can kill weakened trees or branches on otherwise healthy trees. Cottony maple scale is an insect. Cottony maple scale occurs most commonly on silver maple, but it can also feed on other maple species, boxelder, basswood, birch, elm, and linden. The cottony camellia scale is most commonly reported on holly in Kentucky, but it is also found on other hosts, including yew, euonymous, maple, and hydrangea. Males are rare and exist in the species to allow the scale to reproduce sexually producing both females and males. Damage: Mature females are easily recognizable by the distinctive cottony white sac that contains about 1,000 eggs. P. innumerabilis can be found on all species of maples (Acer spp.) Psuedococcidae . Scale insects are closely related to aphids but most don't look like insects at all, appearing legless and attached to the plant's leaves or stems (see photo right). The insect spends winter in an immature stage on twigs and branches, maturing in late May or early June. COTTONY MAPLE SCALE Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist A mature female cottony maple scale is 1/8" long, and has a brown, flat, oval body. Their waste products are a sweet honeydew that ants and wasps will feed on readily. These scales are usually first noticed when females produce egg sacs which appear as small cottony balls. How to Get Rid of Scales on Japanese Maples. Entomologist (ret.) In early summer mature females begin to secrete white, waxy, cottony-appearing egg sacs in which they lay as many as 1,500 eggs. Honeydew is the sugary, liquid waste excreted by scale insects. Yellowish-brown, oval scale insects up to 3mm (1/8in) long can be seen near the veins on the undersides of the leaves; Rectangular white waxy egg masses, up to 10mm (almost ½in) long and 2-3mm (1/8in) wide, are produced by the adult scales in spring and early summer. Comments Cottony maple scale on a silver maple. Cottony Maple Scale (Pulvinaria innumerabilis) is a soft scale insect pest that commonly attacks maple trees, but can be found on a variety on hosts. Cottony maple scales will produce white cottony egg sacs by mid-June. They spend the winter in an immature stage on twigs or branches and complete development in June when the egg sacs appear. They are small and immobile with no visible legs. Appearance: The most noticeable stage is the brown adult female with a large cottony mass (egg sack) protruding from the rear. Cottony Maple Scale. Many products are available to help manage soft scales and scales in general. Cottony maple scale is an insect. Cottony maple scale, other soft scales, aphids, leafhoppers, treehoppers, and other related insects have the ability to selectively remove the nitrogen, some of the water, and a little of the carbohydrates (sugars) from the sap before it goes through their digestive system. However, it can also be found on other maples, oak, linden, hackberry, honey locust and other trees. Infested leaves usually turn yellow. Cottony cushion scales on euonymus. By late spring the insect has developed into a mature female and begins laying as many as 1,000 eggs. Source: davidshort. Cottony maple cushion scale belong to the soft bodied type. How can I control it? The remains of these egg masses can persist on the foliage throughout the year ; Control. COTTONY MAPLE SCALE is an insect pest of maples, especially silver maples and locust trees primarily, but also will infest several other species. Scale: Many scale species-including Pulvinaria acericola, Pulvinaria innumerabilis, and Melanaspis tenebricosa are pests of maples. In June, female scales begin to produce large, white, cottony egg sacs that may grow to the size of dimes (up to a ½-inch in diameter). Females are inconspicuous and overwinter on twigs, and in the spring they rapidly grow and produce their characteristic white egg sac. Cottony maple scale over-winters as immature females (nymphs) on twigs and branches. By definition, mealybugs are soft-skinned and sap-sucking scale insects that can multiply and form colonies if not caught in time.