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 Post subject: Scale on Crepe Myrtle
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:09 am 
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I noticed about 3 weeks ago there was white powdery looking stuff all over my crepe myrtle with ants burrowing in the bark. After doing some research I found out that it was scale. I can see thousands of adult Scale all grouped together sucking on my crepe myrtle. Then I also notice some black beetles with 2 orange spots climbing on the adult scale and all over the leaves. I found out the black beetle is the natural predator so now I'm wondering if I should let the Scale and the beetle fight it out or if I should spray the tree with orange oil/water mixture. I'm afraid that if I spray the mixture I could kill off the predator beetle.

Any thoughts? I'm open to other suggestions too. Should I pull the adult scale off the tree?

Thanks
Jason


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:23 am 
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It's good to see the beetle, but at the level you describe, it probably won't get it under control. Here is Howard's page about treating scale.

Have you looked into how the crape myrtles were planted? Are they too deep in the ground, do they get too much or too little water? To keep this from occurring again, you'll need to address how it was planted and how it is situated.

Meanwhile, you could try knocking them off with high water pressure and hope the beetles get the rest, but I suspect if the infestation is as bad as you say that you'll need to use the biowash and orange oil in water mix.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:45 pm 
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I did look at the root flare and it looks fine to me. I don't think I water too much, 1" every 5-6 days, and there's mulch all around so I don't think the soil gets too dry. I have been fertilizing may yard and plants organically for over 2 years so far.

My plan will be to get as many of the adults off as possible without eliminating the beetle. Then I will spray the white powder (eggs) with orange oil/water mixture.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:27 pm 
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A question about scale on crape myrtles came up today on Anything You Ever Wanted To Know on KERA.

Several early callers mis-identified the problem as aphids or mealybugs, but the original description sounded exactly like scale. I'm bringing this to the top in case we have visitors looking for information.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't go with a systemic toxic chemical approach. Your yard and health will thank you for using biowash and orange oil with diatomaceous earth approach.

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