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South Regional Reports

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale: A New Pest for Southern Gardeners to Watch Out For | Regional Report

Courtesy of Blake Layton

Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia spp. and cvs., Zones 7-9) are truly one of the trees Southerners have come to rely on in the landscape. Plant breeding innovations over the last 30 or so years have led to wonderful new selections. These new selections have made crape myrtles even more valuable in the landscape. You can now purchase crape myrtles that are essentially ground covers, several compact selections perfect for a smaller landscape, as well as new variations of the larger trees we know and love.

A new pest of crape myrtle has found its way into the South. Commonly known as crape myrtle bark scale (CMBS), this pest was first observed in Texas and has migrated through several parts of the South. Dr. Blake Layton from Mississippi State who has worked with this pest says, “crape myrtle bark scale is a serious new insect pest of one of the South’s favorite landscape…

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