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