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How to Control Crape Myrtle Bark Scalebark scale

A very popular plant for homeowners and property owners in the southern United States, particularly in Texas, is the crape myrtle tree and shrub. Crape myrtle is often sought after for it’s beauty on landscapes and the fact that for the most part it relatively stays free from diseases and problems. However, lately the crape myrtle plant has encountered some issues in the form of a scaled insect that currently is merely called crape myrtle bark scale or CMBS for short.

Crape myrtle bark scale is a relatively new problem, having shown up within the last 10 to 15 years, having imported from China somehow. Crape myrtle bark scale will appear like a white waxy crusty dot found on the tree trunk, branches or bark. When crushed with a finger, it will ooze out a pink substance. In addition to the presence of these bumps there is often also an emergence of unsightly black sooty-looking mold which develops resembling black dust on the leaves and bark of the crape myrtle plant.These are the defining characteristics which make up crape myrtle bark scale.

The presence of this issue while not a severe issue compared to other plant diseases, can be detrimental to the crape myrtle plants productivity. Some of the problems bark scale brings about are the limiting of blooms; you’ll see a little bit of reduction in the blooms. Also, honeydew production from the bark scale on the leaves which may begin dripping sap down off the leaves. This can be a problem if you park under the tree, as they can create a bit of a mess. On top of that ants will be drawn to the sap.

If you have discovered crape myrtle bark scale on your tree, Solutions Pest & Lawn has the products and the know-how to help you get rid of the problem. Check out some of our products below which are available to be shipped as soon as your order them.

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How To Get Rid of Crape Myrtle Bark Scale: 3 Step Solution

Crape myrtle bark scale can be removed from your plant with the right products at your disposal and the correct treatment approach. Simply purchasing a product from your local garden center and spraying away at your tree or shrub will bring little to no effect. Solutions Pest & Lawn has some simple steps you can apply along with some patience and persistence for the best chances of success.


Step 1: Timing is essential when applying treatment to try to remove crape myrtle bark scale. The best times of the year to treat the insect is around the May/June/July period of the year. However, no matter the time of year, it is best to jump into figuring out a treatment option to address crape myrtle bark scale.


Step 2: Choose your option. There are a number of different options available to treat crape myrtle bark scale, what you choose will depend upon your budget and personal preference but all have shown to be an effective eliminator of the insect.


The first option is Safari 20SG Insecticide Dinotefuran,  this is a systemic insecticide which means the plant takes the product up into it and spreads through the whole plant. That way the insects that are piercing and sucking insects, such as aphids and scales, when they find the link it actually poisons them.


The second option which works similar is Dominion 2L which contains the active ingredient of imdacloprid.Dominion is also a very good systemic insecticide and it's a little bit more cost affordable and it's pretty effective in his own right so this is probably the one that we sell the most for crape myrtle bark scale


The third option we recommend is Pivot 10. This is an insect growth regulator which can kill any of the insect eggs. It doesn’t address all of the issues so it shouldn’t be used on it own but be used supplementary to one of the above options.


Step 3: Using a hose of similar sprayer, spray your crape myrtle plant down with water really heavily and let it dry to try to clean off the sooty mold created by the bark scale. After that, use one or more of the insecticide options in step 2 along with an insect growth regulator and spray. Keep in mind, it may take several weeks for the systemic product to make its way throughout the tree.


Crape myrtle can be a big problem in Texas, but it is not a harmful disease that kills the tree. It is mainly an aesthetic problem that makes the tree displeasing to the eye. Thankfully, it can be treated quite easily by following the steps laid out above.


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