Skip to main content

Creepy White Growth on Your Crape Myrtle?

There is a new pest invading our beloved crape myrtles here in North Texas. Have you seen a strange white cottony growth on the trunks of your crape myrtles? If you look closely, you’ll notice that it is alive! Meet the crape myrtle scale. It destroys the bark of crape myrtles causing a lot of damage in a small amount of time. It’s also accompanied by heavy layer of black sooty mold, which you can see on the branches in this photo.

The best time to prevent scale is in January and early February with an application of dormant oil. Once the scale matures in spring it can be difficult to kill the adults with pesticides. If your crape myrtle is heavily infested, you can wash the trunk with a soft cleaning brush and mild dishwashing soap. This will help remove many of the female scale insects and eggs that will hatch anew. This washing also helps remove the sooty mold. However, crape myrtles afflicted with sooty mold are often growing in locations that are too shady to support them.

Sometimes nature will step in and beneficial insects will take care of the problem for us. If you look closely at the photo, you’ll also see ladybug larvae feeding on the scale. Ladybug larvae are highly effective beneficial predators and can quickly destroy many of the pests. Be sure that you’re having your trees properly pruned by a certified arborist: The scale will often start by attacking poor pruning wounds or other damage in your crape myrtle.

Have photos you’d like to share? Vist us on Facebook and Twitter.

pest,scale,trees,organics,insects,beneficial insects

Comments (2)

Comments are closed.

Credentials

Member, ASA, SSSA, CSSA

Soils Alive is an active member of the Agronomy Society of America (ASA), Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), and Crop Science Society of America (CSSA).

Accredited Business, Better Business Bureau

Soils Alive, Inc. has been a member and accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since 2004. You can find our listing here. We are presently an A+ rated business.

Member, Texas Nursery & Landscape Association

Soils Alive is a member of the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association(TNLA). TNLA is Texas' largest and most prominent green industry advocacy and governance group, and was set up to promote the landscape, nursery and horticulture industry in Texas. 

2014 Super Service Award from Angie’s List

We earned the 2014 Super Service Award from Angie's List. The award reflects consistent high levels of customer service. Check our reviews atAngie's List. We won the 2013 Super Service Award as well.

1821 Wall Street
Garland, TX 75041
Ph: 972.272.9211
info@soilsalive.com

Email Newsletter

Get the latest organic news from Soils Alive