Living in the south, you or someone you know is bound to have a Crape Myrtle. If you have one, it may be affected by a new and invasive intent that is attacking Crape Myrtles. Here are some ways to identify the insect, and what to do about it.
The insect is called Crape Myrtle Bark Scale. It usually shows itself by white, flaky, almost cotton-like pieces on the trunk, caused when the honeydew secreted by the crawling insects begins to mold.
The best time to control these Scale Crawlers is in the spring. Apply a liquid drench to the ground around the plant. The insecticide is taken up through the root system of the plant and out to the stems and leaves. Then, when the crawlers feed on the plant, they also feed on the chemical. You could also spray a systemic insect control on the trunk and leaves themselves.
Having Crape Myrtle Bark Scale on your plant likely won't kill the plant, but a heavy infestation will have a lot of the sooty, black mold, which can make a mess on the ground below and cause your plants to have fewer and smaller blooms. This is a problem that will need to be kept up and treated each year, so if you notice you have Crape Myrtle Bark Scale, be prepared to keep this as part of your plant care routine.
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