Re: Tea Scale on Ilex
Tea scale (Fiorinia theae) can be a pest of Camellias and Hollies (Ilex) in some of the Southern states in the US. It does not survive in colder temperatures. Are the Ilex shrubs located in Massachusetts? If so it can not be tea scale.
Are the bugs located on the top suface of the leaves or just the bottom surface? Do they appear stationary or do they visibly move when disturbed?
The black spotty residue is probably a mold that often grows on the sticky waste material that many insects produce.