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New Pest to the Southeastern US: Crape Myrtle Bark Scale

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Crape myrtle is a popular tree found across the Carolinas. If you have crape myrtles in your yard, there's a new insect pest that could be altering the overall health of your trees. The insect pest is known as crape myrtle bark scale and infestations are on the rise. Our Certified Arborists have already spotted this scale throughout neighborhoods in Concord, Charlotte, and Lake Norman NC. Keep on the lookout, below are signs of how this bark scale is showing up in crape myrtles! 

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  • Are you trees covered in white scaly patches? The most common symptom of crape myrtle bark scale: scaly patches. Branches and trunks can become covered in the white scale infestation.
  • The scale infestations appear as white or gray and leaves behind a waxy substance on stems, large twigs, and trunks, but rarely on foliage.
  • The scale infestation especially congregates in branch crotches and at pruning sites.
  • These bark scales produce large amounts of honeydew, the sugary waste the scale produces as it feeds on the plant’s phloem.
  • Leaves, branches, and trunk become covered with black sooty mold, which grows on the honeydew. Black sooty mold will look like your trees have been burned in large patches. 
  • Infested plants typically leaf out later than healthy plants. If your crape myrtle trees did not seem to leaf out alongside your other trees, bark scale could be the culprit. 
  • Premature bark peeling.

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Check out our Tree Bugs page for more information on bark scale and other scales that could be attacking your trees. If you are seeing signs of crape myrtle bark scale, we're here to help. Your areas Arborist representative will meet onsite and take a look at your trees to confirm signs of crape myrtle bark scale. Click link below to schedule an appointment with your Certified Arborist today. 

ArborWISE Consultation