How to treat your crapemyrtle for bark scale

YouTube is both a tremendous waste of time and also one of the best things to happen to DIYers in, like,… forever.  I find myself checking it constantly for instructions on how to do everything, from troubleshooting my computer to making repairs on my car.  So why not a video on how to control crapemyrtle bark scale?

What is crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS)? It’s a small sap-feeding insect that lives on the bark of certain plants, especially crapemyrtle. Thanks to its sugary excrement, it turns crapemyrtles with beautiful honey-colored trunks into black sticks with sticky leaves. It also reduces blooms and weakens some trees.

The good news is that we now have some good insecticidal control methods for CMBS and we are seeing more natural control with the help of beneficial insects. Several kinds of lady beetles are helping to keep scale numbers down in many locations.

To show you how to put our research findings to work for you, we’ve put together a 9-minute YouTube video. To get the whole lesson, grab the popcorn, sit back and click this link or the video above. (Remember that control may take several weeks to become evident, and dead scales will not fall off on their own.)

If you have a crapemyrtle tree in your care, and have not yet encountered CMBS, consider yourself lucky. But, for the rest of us, this insect is a pestilence. And if you think you’ll never have the problem, think again. It’s just a matter of time before CMBS will be found throughout the southeastern U.S.

If you are seeing CMBS for the first time, it may be new to your area.  Consider reporting your backyard or local infestations to the EDDMaps website, which is tracking spread of this pest.

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