Be on the lookout! In late July, an Arborist discovered Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale (CMBS) in Mooresville, NC. These creatures originally came from Asia, and the first case was found in Texas in 2004.They are currently moving throughout the Southeastern United States, and this was confirmed as the first case of CMBS in North Carolina.
Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale, a “soft Scale,” inflicts damage by affixing themselves to branches of Crepe Myrtles where they proceed to suck the sap out of the tree. You will be able to see tiny white bugs on the branches and stems, and possibly their excrement-- a sticky substance on leaves or surrounding the base of the tree. Black or yellow leaves are another sign that CMBS has infested your Crepe Myrtles. Crepe Myrtles are typically stressed by weather (such as drought), compaction of the soil, and tree topping; an attack from CMBS will only stress the tree even more.
So, how can you control these insects? Horticultural oil applications, organic insecticides, or systemic insecticides are solid options for combating the Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale scourge. Systemic insecticides in particular are helpful, as they are injected into the ground where they will be absorbed by the tree; once the tree has taken the insecticide in, any Scale insects present will ingest it and die.
You definitely need to be aware of these little bugs popping up on your Crepe Myrtles, but rest assured that we at Schneider Shrub and Tree Care can help you control the infestation. We have certified Arborists and trained technicians who are here to protect your trees, so give us a call today! Also, check out our updates on the Arborist News Network for more information about what’s going on in the Tree Care world. We want to keep you up-to-date and educated about your trees.