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Pest Information

Cottony Maple Scale

Cottony Maple Scale

  • Latin Name: Pulvinaria innumerabilis
  • Common Name: Cottony Maple Scale
  • Latin Family Name: Coccidae
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

Cottony Maple Scale
Cottony Maple Scale


Native to eastern North America, but now found throughout the U.S.


The scales feed on many kinds of maples and boxelder, as well as elms, birch, poplar, willow, and other trees. In western states it is a minor pest of vineyards, with most of the damage due to the honeydew and resulting sooty mold that may damage fruit. Early instars overwinter, developing to the adult female in late spring. Eggs are produced and hatch in early summer, with the mobile crawler stage moving to leaves to feed on the lower surfaces for the rest of the growing season. They then move back to small twigs prior to leaf-drop and settle in there to spend the winter in the next instar stages.


The adult female is about 1/8 inch long, with a flattened brownish wax shell. During the summer the female produces her eggs within a large, bright white cottony mass that resembles pieces of popcorn on the stems of plants. As this egg mass develops the top of the wax shell may bend backward, giving it a wrinkled appearance.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

For ornamentals dormant or summer oils may be effective in killing the scales, as well as contact insecticides applied when the first instar crawlers are present. An IGR applied when crawlers are present also may be effective. A systemic applied to the soil can also provide effectiveness in killing the feeding scales.

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