As if we don’t already have enough pest problems to be concerned about, Texas A&M University researchers have identified a new one – Crape Myrtle Bark Scale.
First noticed in Texas in 2004, it has since been identified in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee; and because of the popularity of crape myrtles in Florida, this pest will probably show up in the near future, if it’s not already here.
What to look for:
⅛” oval to oblong white scale covering the bark on crape myrtle trunks and branches (similar to azalea bark scale). They produce large amounts of honey dew, resulting in black, sooty mold fungus.
As they mature, the adult females lay eggs, which when smashed, produce a pink-purple residue. They appear to be most active during the summer.
How to control:
Early pesticide treatments have shown that Merit or Bayer Advanced Garden Tree and Shrub Insect Control produced significant reduction in the scale population for up to 12 weeks after a single application.
They also found effective to reduce water and fertilizer applications which reduce large flushes of growth.
As I learn more, I’ll keep you posted.