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Crape Myrtle Scale

Crape Myrtle Scale

Crape myrtles are beautiful flowering plants that can enhance the beauty of any garden or landscape. However, they are susceptible to a common pest known as crape myrtle scale. Understanding the cause of this pest infestation and how to prevent it is crucial for maintaining the health and beauty of your crape myrtle plants.

What is crape myrtle scale?

Crape myrtle scale, or Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae, is a type of scale insect that feeds on the sap of crape myrtle plants. These tiny insects can be identified by their white or grayish oval-shaped shells that cover their bodies. They often cluster on the branches and leaves of crape myrtle plants, sucking out the plant's nutrients and causing damage.

What causes crape myrtle scale infestations?

Crape myrtle scale infestations are often caused by factors such as poor plant health, lack of proper care, and environmental conditions. Over-fertilization, over-watering, and lack of sunlight can weaken crape myrtle plants, making them more susceptible to scale infestations. Additionally, the insects can be introduced to the plants through contaminated soil, tools, or nearby infested plants.

How to prevent crape myrtle scale infestations?

Preventing crape myrtle scale infestations involves maintaining the health of your plants and implementing proper care practices. Here are some tips to prevent scale infestations:

  • Prune and dispose of any heavily infested branches or leaves.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing and over-watering your crape myrtle plants.
  • Monitor your plants regularly for signs of scale infestations.
  • Introduce natural predators of scale insects, such as ladybugs or lacewings, to your garden.
  • Use horticultural oils or insecticidal soaps to control scale populations.
  • Use a systemic insecticide such as Dominion 2L for season long care and prevention.

By following these prevention methods and maintaining the health of your crape myrtle plants, you can effectively reduce the risk of crape myrtle scale infestations and keep your plants thriving.

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