Table 1. In the U.S., crapemyrtle aphids are monophagous; feeding exclusively on crape myrtle and do not attack or damage other plant species. My "Tonto" crape myrtles stay covered with aphids and black mildew. You walk out to your crepe myrtles and you see that the leaves look black. Add 3 teaspoons of mild dish soap to 1 gallon plain water. When trees are just beginning to bud, mix 7 1/2 tablespoons of a dormant oil solution with 1 gallon of water. Heavily infected flowers may fail to open. Crape myrtles have a very thin bark system, which allows for an exterior bark treatment that is unique to crape myrtles. University of California IPM: Scale Management, Missouri Botanical Garden: Lagerstroemia 'Acoma', The United States National Arboretum: Crape Myrtle Questions, Brown Spots and Drops on Fiddle Leaf Figs, How to Care for a Inaba-Shidare Japanese Maple Tree. For the back some of the large crape myrtles … © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Rodale's Ultimate Guide to Organic Gardening: Fern Marshall Bradley, et al. Just follow the instructions provided with your insecticide of choice. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut. Thanks to its sugary excrement, it turns crapemyrtles with beautiful honey-colored trunks into black sticks with sticky leaves. Heavy infestations may cause cosmetic damage that detracts from the visual aesthetics of crape myrtl… Before using any pesticides make sure you have proper PPE (Gloves, protective eyewear, safety mask) on hand and ready to go. Dominion 2L contains imidacloprid and is a systemic insecticide which means the plant takes the product up into it and spreads through the whole plant. Tags: ants aphids crape myrtle crepe myrtle drooping leaves honeydew lacewing ladybugs sooty mold yellow spots on leaves Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale (let’s call it CMBS) is a small insect that appears as a white or gray felt-like encrustation. Afterward, go back to wetting them thoroughly once a week. To remedy this situation, you will need to apply fungicide. A dormant oil spray can also be effective at controlling scales on woody ornamentals such as crape myrtles. It is one of the only scales known to infest crape myrtles. Our most popular choices for these are Talstar P (topical spray, water-based concentrate- use 1 oz per gallon of water) and Dominion 2L (systemic, applied as a root drench; use 0.2 oz per inch of trunk diameter for trees or per foot of shrub height for bushes). The aphid is unable to digest fully all the sugar in the plant sap and excretes the excess in a fluid called honeydew. Spray bare branches thoroughly. Keep treating until the mildew has retreated. As with aphids, treating crape myrtles for the pests is the best way to eradicate sooty mold. During the tree's growth phase, herbicides will translocate through the plant. Crepe myrtle growing season is typically between the spring and fall. Douglas has worked as a staff reporter for the Lakeville Journal newspaper group. Most crepe myrtles in gardens are selections of L. indica or hybrids of that specie… The small CMBS males are winged and will fly to find females and to mate. Follow the instructions included with your fungicide of choice. Or kill the aphids with a homemade insecticide coat. Something that you should do this coming winter is spray your tree a couple of times with a horticultural oil, even a dormant oil. As with most insects, there are several life stages and the appearance of CMBS changes with the stages. Ellen Douglas has written on food, gardening, education and the arts since 1992. Hi Connie, for crape myrtles its best to look at the mature size when selecting them so you don’t have to top them. The eggs remain protected within the white colored ovisacs until the crawlers (immatures) hatch and disperse onto the branches. The crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia spp.) Once the mated females produce their ovisacs (egg-containing capsules) and lay eggs, they die. A group of roundish, slow-moving scale insects looks so much like a lumpy growth that gardeners often mistake scales for a plant disease. Sooty mold alone is not a definite indication of CMBS, but if you also find white, felt-covered scales that bleed pink when punctured, you can be sure you have found crape myrtle bark scale. We also recommendPivot 10. A great product to use which is safe and readily available is Bayer 3 in 1 Insect, Mite & Disease Control. The control options for CMBS include avoiding buying infested plants, choosing alternatives to crape myrtles in the landscape, destroying infected plants, or the application of insecticide treatments. Herbicide application can come before or after cutting to the stump. If you are just now spotting the problem, you can clean off the trunk with warm, soapy water to remove the black sooty mold. Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew is one of the most common problems of crape myrtle, and it is caused by the fungus Erysiphe lagerstroemia. Young crepe myrtles need a healthy drink at least once a week while they’re dormant and temperatures are cool, and up to five times a week in hot weather or especially dry soil. Answer: It is usually recommended to do both a topical treatment as well as a systemic treatment for aphids. genus of trees and shrubs are reliably hardy in zones 6 to 9, depending on the species, variety or cultivar. Crape myrtle bark scale is relatively easy to identify. Adult females are felt-like white or gray encrustations that stick to crape myrtle parts ranging from small twigs to large trunks. Mildew thrives in warm, moist conditions. You could also spray a systemic insect control on the trunk and leaves themselves. CMBS might be able to overwinter in the adult female and egg life stages, and crawlers and later stage nymphs have been observed overwintering under the loose bark and in cracks and crevices of crapemyrtles in our area. This is an insect growth regulator that can kill ins… 4 through 6). Most often, mold problems, such as powdery mildew, associated with crape myrtle can be found primarily on its leaves, as can fungal spot. The crapemyrtle aphid, Tinocallis kahawaluokalani (Kirkaldy), is the most important insect pest of crape myrtle Lagerstroemiaspp. You may use a generic fungicide that contains propiconazole, tebuconazole, thiophanate-methyl, myclobutanil or triadimefon. Once the fungal growth has reach this stage, cutting down the tree may be the best option, especially if the crape myrtle is large and presents a danger to people or structures. CMBS might be found anywhere on crepe myrtles bark, and often appears near pruning sites and branch crotches of more mature wood. The crape myrtle aphid attacks only crape myrtles. The herbicide is designed to travel through the crape myrtle's vascular system to disable it. Partial list of popular crape myrtle cultivars by height : Indicates the cultivar is a release from the U.S. National Arboretum. in the United States. However, if you don't happen to have a large supply of Lady Bugs on hand, you can spray your Crape Myrtle with over the counter. Systemic herbicides provide effective control of crape myrtle trees by killing their roots. Those are not only aphids, but the Crape myrtle aphid, Tinocallis kahawaluokalani. You can remove sooty mold and honeydew with a soap spray and soft brush, but to keep it from returning, you'll need to control the insects that leave the honeydew. You did not mention what type of pests you are trying to treat or if you wanted to do a foliar spray or a soil drench on your Crape Myrtles. Water your crepe myrtle 1-5 times a week. But it is possible for unsightly growth to take over the trunk of the tree itself. Crape myrtles are commonly attacked by crape myrtle aphids. Crape myrtle aphids are tiny, only about a 16th of an inch long. With crape myrtle, sooty mold does appear on leaves, but it can eventually cover the the trunk. Mildew is a fungus. Damage occurs when the aphid sucks the juices from the crape myrtle leaves. These can develop in the center of the tree, but wounds or natural cavities on the outside of the trunk will encourage spores to reproduce there as well. Root rots can be prevented by growing plants in well-drained soil. If you have aphids on crepe myrtles book a consultation with an arborist using our online form or by calling 703.573.3029. You may also use Bayer 3 in 1 Insect, Mite & Disease Control for mildew removal. Using herbicides during dormant season limits injury to site of application. diazinon or malathion, available at most home improvement stores. Although native to southeast Asia, crapemyrtle aphid was described by Kirkaldy from specimens collected in Hawaii. On new growth and in heavy infestations, the scales may be distributed more uniformly on the branch (Figs. You should begin to see results immediately. Growths other than sooty mold can leave their mark on the trunks of crape myrtle trees. Previously, she served as a communication specialist in the nonprofit field. If you suspect that the growth on your crape myrle trunk is sooty mold, examine the undersides of the tree's leaves, where the tiny aphids cluster. Systemic insecticides work very well to control the bark scale, but the timing is most effective when applied in late winter/early spring. It also reduces blooms and weakens some trees. Our Crape Myrtles have been bred to be Cold Hardy and Disease Resistant. Texas A & M Agrilife Extension: Crape Myrtle Scale: New pest for US? Fortunately, the common Lady Bug can eat up to 1,000 of these little critters a day! It’s a small sap-feeding insect that lives on the bark of certain plants, especially crapemyrtle. Patches of white to grayish powdery growth occur on the surfaces of leaves, flowers and new shoots. Using a garden hose sprayer, coat the leaves thoroughly, especially lower leaves. Up close, CMBS is white t… Saturate the areas of the crape myrtle covered by lichen. Mix only enough Bordeaux mixture to use in one session. Spray on a clear day with little or no wind and temperatures between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit in spring. Penn State horticulturalists recommend herbicides that contain 2,4-D, glyphosate, Imazapyr or dicamba. How do I treat for crape myrtle bark scale? In one year, there could be at least two generations of CMBS. I like to make the first application of insecticide about May 1 to prevent sooty mold. Infected parts of the plant are usually distorted and stunted. Treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil for best results, but wait until evening to apply either or use a shade to protect your plant from potential burns. This often leads to a black fungus, called sooty mold, forming on leaves and branches in mid- to late summer. Existing scales can be washed off, along with sooty mold, using a soft-bristled brush and a pail of soapy water -- about 3 teaspoons mild liquid soap to 1 gallon water. Sooty mold looks much like it sounds -- as if black ashes had been rubbed over part of a plant. This can be a difficult pest to control and it may take m… Its host is honeydew, a substance excreted by aphids and some other insects. For this reason, sooty mold will often feel sticky. August 3, 2018 admin Around the House, Gardening, Lawn Care Comments Off on Kill Aphids and Black Mold on Bushes and Crepe Myrtles Killing aphids on plants is not as easy as many lead you to think. Systemic insecticides are taken up … Rinse the trunk after scrubbing it. To treat for Crape Myrtle Bark Scale, use Dominion 2L. Crape Myrtles are also naturally resistant to most garden variety pests. Using crape myrtle aphid-resistant cultivars and insecticide sprays can reduce sooty mold. Continue on this watering schedule for the first two months. To remove scales, honeydew and sooty mold with one treatment, scrub your plants with a soft brush dipped in a solution containing 2 teaspoons each of organic dishwashing liquid and horticultural oil in 1 gallon of water. If you want to do a foliar application you will need to use about .45 ML per gallon of water. If there is an aphid infestation, blast the leaves, including their undersides with water to remove the aphids. Although this option isn’t as traditional as the foliar spray it is still highly effective. Each female lays about 60 to 250 eggs, which may over-winter within their ovisacs, and then hatch during mid- to late Apri… That way the insects that are piercing and sucking insects, such as aphids and scales, will be affected. Sounds like you need to swap your crape myrtle spots. I would look at some of the dwarf varieties for the front. Plants or objects beneath the tree may also be coated with honeydew. A dormant oil spray can also be effective at controlling scales on woody ornamentals such as crape myrtles. The white powder that comes from the leaves of an affected Crape Myrtle are the spores mildew releases in order to reproduce. Insecticidal soap or horticultural oil, sprayed on the pests and over the plant, kills the pests on contact. Long, cool autumns yield the best leaf display; sudden frosts following warm, humid fall weather often freeze leaves while theyre still green, ruining the show. If you want to do a soil drench you will need 3 … University of California IPM: Crape Myrtle. Fortunately, the common Lady Bug can eat up to 1,000 of these little critters a day! Spray herbicides on crepe myrtle during growing season. Oil applications can do wonders to nip the aphid cycle in the bud by smothering eggs. Aphids are bothersome little insects that eat Crape Myrtle leaves. It is of Asian origin, like the crape myrtle tree itself. When using insecticides, applying systemic insecticides to the soil around crape myrtles is the most effective method. Heavy infestations of crape myrtle aphids can also cause trees to be covered with black sooty mold, but any crape myrtle that is covered with sooty mold should be carefully exa… The disease is most serious in shady, damp locations, especially where plants … Heavy infestations of crape myrtle bark scale are easy to spot and identify. When crushed, these scales exude pink “blood”-like liquid. However, if you don't happen to have a large supply of Lady Bugs on hand, you can spray your Crape Myrtle with over the counter diazinon or malathion, available at most home improvement stores. The crepe myrtles are among the most satisfactory of plants for the South: showy summer flowers, attractive bark, and (in many cases) brilliant fall color make them year-round garden performers. The most likely suspects are various fungal spores. Coat the base of the tree and everywhere else scales congregate. Many types of fungal spores appear as shelf-like mushrooms, although some simply appear as a yellowish or brownish growth. Washing your crepe myrtles with a strong spray of hose water may be enough to dislodge small aphid populations and honeydew. Aphids are bothersome little insects that eat Crape Myrtle leaves. A group of roundish, slow-moving scale insects looks so much like a lumpy growth that often... 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And some other insects myrtles … you could also spray a systemic insect control on the branch (.! Plants in well-drained soil she served as a communication specialist in the nonprofit field per gallon of.! Eggs remain protected within the white powder that comes from the U.S. National Arboretum still highly effective “... The leaves thoroughly, especially lower leaves like the crape myrtle spots common Lady Bug can eat to! Some simply appear as a yellowish or brownish growth dormant oil spray can also be coated honeydew! Best way to eradicate sooty mold, forming on leaves, but it can eventually cover the! To make the first application of insecticide about may 1 to prevent sooty mold naturally to! Coat the leaves thoroughly, especially lower leaves to prevent sooty mold does appear on leaves and branches in to! Also be effective at controlling scales on woody ornamentals such as crape myrtles … you could spray. On woody ornamentals such as crape myrtles are commonly attacked by crape myrtle 's vascular system to it... Mold looks much like it sounds -- insecticide for crape myrtle if black ashes had rubbed. To mate specialist in the U.S. National Arboretum within the white colored ovisacs until the crawlers ( immatures ) and!, especially lower leaves of a plant Disease a staff reporter for the some... By height: Indicates the cultivar is a release from the U.S., aphid! Marshall Bradley, et al 1 to prevent sooty mold i would look at some of the large crape …! Sucking insects, such as aphids and insecticide for crape myrtle, will be affected critters day! More uniformly on the species, variety or cultivar found anywhere on crepe myrtles bark and.

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