Master Gardener: Struggle again towards crapemyrtle bark scale | House & Backyard


Crapemyrtle bark scale

Black leaves and white puffy egg sacks are an indicator of crapemyrtle bark scale.

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I had an issue with black leaves on my crapemyrtle final yr. How do I stop that this yr? — J.W.

First of all, congratulations on having a crapemyrtle that survived the deep freeze final yr. As everyone knows, a lot of our crapemyrtles didn’t do effectively. But, for those who did make it, black leaves are an indicator of crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS).

Adult male CMBS bugs have wings they use to assist discover females for mating. Mated females produce egg capsules, lay between 60-250 eggs in these capsules after which die. In addition to the black leaves you talked about, these white puffy egg sacks are one other indicator of CMBS.

The eggs overwinter in these pouches and start to hatch in April and May. The tiny bugs that emerge are very small and pink in coloration. They transfer about by hitching rides on birds or being blown by the wind to close by vegetation. A second era emerges in late summer season.

These scale bugs have what we name piercing/sucking mouth components. Using these mouth components, they can pierce the bark and suck vitamins out of the plant. With small infestations, the crapemyrtles usually are not at risk. But over time, as their inhabitants will increase, they’ll construct as much as the purpose of with the ability to harm the plant.

The black leaves you talked about are one other main symptom of CMBS. The leaves themselves don’t flip black however as a substitute are coated with a black fungus known as sooty mildew. The mildew is attributable to the excretions of the size insect we affectionately name “honeydew.”

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