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Crape Myrtle Scale: What is it?

Now that spring is in full force and your crape myrtles are about to bloom, you need to be aware of what else might be going on with your crape myrtles.  Scale has become a big issue around Shreveport / Bossier when it comes to scale.  Most people notice the black sooty mold first and that’s when they realize there is an issue.  You usually see the black mold on the tree  and on all of the plants under the tree.  The reason for this is the scale.  The live in the tree feeding on the outside bark.  They secrete a by product called honeydew, the clear sticky stuff you will see.  The black mold grows on this honeydew.  So the answer to get rid of the mold is to get rid of the scale.  Fixing one issue will fix 3.  

In the Spring the scale are young and tender.  This is also when they are the most active.  While there is no real way to get rid of them all, you can control them right now.  If you wait until later in the summer the treatments are not nearly as effective due the are armored shell they develop which makes it hard to get insecticide to the bug.  Like we said, there is no way to get rid of the scale but there are treatments.  It has to be a 3 step approach.  First you want to use a bee friendly insecticide that way you don’t disturb the pollinators or bees.  The first two should be sprayed onto the tree and all the crakes.  This is best if done using a spray gun that can reach the tops as well.  Space the first 2 applications out by roughly 2 weeks.  The third application can be a deep root injection if you have the equipment for this or you can drench the roots using a bucket.   

If you have any questions, let us know.  This is a very important step in helping to control this problem.  Have a great day!