How To Treat Crepe Myrtle Bark Scales? [Complete Solution]

It’s spring time. Your Crepe myrtles are about to flower. But suddenly you see silvery-white insects on the barks. Lose no time my friend. 

These are crepe myrtle bark scales. Start treating these scales as fast as possible if you want your trees to have beautiful flowers.

In this article, I’ve discussed the best treatments along with some home remedies to control these crepe myrtle bark scales. Keep reading to find out how to get rid of these pests.

So, Without making any delay let’s get started-

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale Troubleshooting Guide

Crepe myrtle bark scale is a very dangerous and harmful pest of crepe myrtle. These small tiny white insects are very specific to crepe myrtle. Hence their name is given crepe myrtle bark scale (CMBS). It mostly attacks in spring at an alarming rate.

Now the question is how to identify these bark scales on your crepe myrtle?

Their infestation looks like a white and waxy substance all over the bark. It seems mostly like white spots. When these scales infest heavily the whole branches look white. But if you look closely you’ll find pinkish clusters of eggs.

Sometimes they can be hard to notice. Because they exfoliate the bark and hide under it. These crepe myrtle bark scales also produce honeydew. Honeydew brings sooty mold fungus into your crepe myrtle plants. 

It’s very important to treat them right away. Because when left untreated the crepe myrtle bark scales spread very fast. The bark scales reduce the plant’s vigor. The most damage is done to the flower buds. When back scales attack crepe myrtle very few flowers bloom. And the flowers usually become smaller. Sometimes there’s even no bloom at all.

Control Measure of  Crape Myrtle Bark Scale

The crepe myrtle bark scales are hard to control. Because they usually remain in the same tree and suck the sap out from the barks. A combination of some treatments is better than any single approach.

When the infestation is low you can scrub the barks to get rid of the scales. Rub a soft brush over the barks with some liquid or soapy water. 

But for severe infestation, an effective Insecticide is needed as this is a very dangerous pest. Get the best systemic insecticide for your crepe myrtles (Our Pick: Bonide Insect Control Systemic Granules). Apply again after a two-week interval.

Be sure to water enough to keep the soil moist. So that the insecticide can reach the plant properly. Apply the insecticide during the spring Because that’s when they start to attack. You can also scatter granular insecticides around the plant. 

But the dead bark scales will still remain on the crepe myrtles. For this, you have to scrape off the bark with a brush to remove them.

You need to monitor the infected crepe myrtle carefully for at least one season.

Try horticultural oil spray and neem oil for home remedy of crepe myrtle bark scales. The recipes are given below.

#Recipe 1:- Horticultural Oil Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of liquid dish soap 
  • 500 ml of any cooking oil like soybean oil or olive oil or vegetable oil. 

Steps:

  • Mix the oil with liquid dish soap very well.
  • Store this mixture in a bottle and you can use it later.
  • Add 5 tablespoons of this mixture with every liter of water and pour it into the sprayer.
  • Spray it all over the barks of your crepe myrtle trees.
  • It is very safe and you can repeat it every week.

#Recipe 2:- Neem Oil Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of neem oil 
  • 1 gallon of water 

Steps:

  • Mix the ingredients and spray directly in the bark 
  • Apply it every week until the problem is solved.

Preventive Measure of Crape Myrtle Bark Scale

The best way to prevent crepe myrtle bark scale is by having a healthy tree. Water and fertilize regularly. A healthy crepe myrtle tree will be less damaged by bark scales. Plant your crepe myrtle in a sunny place. They are seen to attack more when the crepe myrtles are in shade.

Apply the same insecticidal treatment the following year even if you don’t see the bark scales.

Introduce natural predators like ladybugs to prevent the bark scales. Prune of heavily infested small branches. Dispose of them in the garbage. Do not let them come in contact with other trees.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are sooty mold and bark scale on crepe myrtle the same?

They aren’t the same. Sooty mold is a fungus while bark scales are insects. Bark scales secrete honeydew. Honeydew acts as a good harboring medium for sooty mold. This is why both sooty mold and bark scales can be seen at the same time on crepe myrtles.

Will crepe myrtle bark scale kill the tree?

No crepe myrtle bark scales will not kill the tree. But they will weaken the tree and make it more susceptible to diseases. And the flowering will also reduce drastically.

Conclusion

If your crepe myrtles could talk they would ask you to help from these bark scales. But that’s not possible so you have to try to understand them. 

These bark scales will not kill your crepe myrtles. But they will destroy its beauty of it. And in addition, there will be very little blooming.

The good thing is now you know how to treat the crepe myrtle bark scales. So, don’t waste any more time and start treating them. 

I hope you found this article practical in bark scale control.

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