Crapemyrtle Bark Scale: A Growing Threat in Alabama
Crapemyrtle bark scale (Acanthococcus Lagerstroemia) is an invasive pest from Asia that has become a growing concern for Crapemyrtle trees (Lagerstroemia spp.) in the United States.
First identified in Texas in 2004, this pest has since spread to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. The spread of Crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS) is primarily due to the movement of infested plant material.
Ace Tree Services aims to educate Alabama residents in the Birmingham and Huntsville regions about this pest, its effects on Crapemyrtle trees, and the solutions available to combat this issue.
Understanding Crapemyrtle Bark Scale
CMBS belongs to the bark or felt scale family, which slightly differs from soft scales. However, they share similarities, such as a waxy coating and the excretion of honeydew. Bark scales are in a different scale insect family (Eriococcidae) than soft scales (Coccidae) and closely resemble mealybugs.
These pests infest stems, large twigs, and trunks of Crapemyrtle trees, forming white or gray, waxy crustaceans. They typically avoid foliage, preferring to gather in branch crotches and at pruning sites. CMBS settles and feeds under loose, exfoliating bark, making control by both predators and pesticides more challenging.
The Impact of Crapemyrtle Bark Scale on Trees
Crapemyrtle bark scale produces large amounts of honeydew, a sugary waste product created as the pest feeds on the tree's phloem. Consequently, leaves, branches, and trunks become covered with black sooty mold, which thrives on the honeydew. This mold not only affects the tree's appearance but can also interfere with photosynthesis, ultimately harming the tree's health.
Ace Tree Services' Solutions for Crapemyrtle Bark Scale
Although Crapemyrtle bark scale is unsightly, Ace Tree Services offers effective solutions to address this problem. Systemic applications, absorbed by the roots and transported to leaves and stems, can control CMBS. As the insects consume the treated plant material, they die off, preventing further infestation.
Biological controls are another option, but they may take several seasons to establish a large enough population to bring the scale under control. By implementing a combination of approaches, Ace Tree Services helps ensure the long-term health and beauty of your Crapemyrtle trees in the Alabama region.
Trust Ace Tree Services for expert guidance and effective solutions to protect your Crapemyrtle trees from the damaging effects of Crapemyrtle bark scale. With our environmentally friendly treatment options, we will help keep your trees healthy and thriving in the Birmingham and Huntsville areas.
Call an ISA certified arborist from Ace Tree Service at (205) 332-7757!