Chinese wax scale is an insect that can attack many trees and shrubs. Citrus sp., Schinus sp., Ilex sp., Baccharis sp., Umbellularia sp. and Escallonia sp. plus mayten tree are common hosts on the Central Coast. Both the young and mature scales suck plant sap from their host as food. In the process they excrete quantities of honeydew, which act as a substrate for sooty mold fungus. Whenever there is sooty mold present on a plant, honeydew had to precede it. This means there was/is some insect present, which is sucking sap from the plant. Look for scale, mealybugs, leafhoppers, whiteflies, aphids, and/or psyllids as the cause of the problem. The presence of ants may also indicate the presence of honeydew and a causative pest. Use insecticidal soap and summer oil to control the above sucking insects.Control ants to help reduce sucking insect problems. Use all insect control compounds according to label directions for best results.