crepeMerNew Pest Threatens Crapemyrtle
An invasive pest has been identified on crapemyrtles in the Jackson Madison County area. It is known as Crapemyrtle Bark Scale (CMBS). This relatively new pest was first noticed in Dallas TX several years ago and has recently been working its way eastwardly across the state of TN. Shelby County was the first area in TN to identify this pest and begin control measures. Although an unchecked infestation may not kill otherwise healthy crapemyrtles, the pest stress- es the plant, affecting not only its appearance but also interfering with blooming and overall thriftiness. It is the only bark scale to occur on crapemyrtles at this time and should be easy to identify. Adult females appear as white or gray felt-like encrustations on small twigs to large trunks, often near pruning wounds or branch crotches. Most gardeners will be alerted to its presence by the black sooty mold on the bark (not to be confused with sooty mold associated with aphid feeding).
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