Protect your Crape Myrtles from Aphids! Every spring, overwintered aphid eggs begin to hatch. This new, all female generation will then give birth to live young. As more and more aphids are produced, the colony becomes more crowded. Originally, the young are born wingless. But as the need for resources increases, the aphids will develop wings, allowing them to disperse in search of food. New colonies arise on neighboring plants as the leaf devouring pests search for their next meal. These populations breed and multiply exponentially, sucking the nutrients and water from the underside of leaves and stems. Leaving them riddled with holes and lacking structural vigor. As the season progresses thru September, adult females will then lay the eggs destined to hatch the following spring.
What they look like: Aphids are small, soft-bodied lice. They are pear shaped and come in a variety of colors. They have noticeably long antennae and are found in clusters or colonies. They are readily found on the undersides of the leaves and stems. They range from light shades to dark brown or black.
What to look for: Aphids feed by inserting a tube or needle-like mouthpart into the underside of the Crape Myrtle leaves. The suck out the sap, or nutrients, while simultaneously injecting their saliva. Not only does this cause yellow spotting, but it will cause leaves to brown, wither and deform.
“In addition to direct damage, aphids can damage plants indirectly by secreting honeydew, a sugary bi-product of their feeding. Honeydew is a perfect substrate for the growth of sooty mold fungi and a source of food for other insects such as ants, wasps and flies”¹
Although the sooty mold will not harm your Crape Myrtles directly, the food it provides for other invasive pests as well may cause early defoliation and leaf drop.
How to treat it: LADYBUGS ARE YOUR FRIENDS! Ladybugs are a huge help in controlling the population of aphids. The adults and the larva devour them at an extremely helpful rate.
SPRAY: Our specially formulated blends of traditional and reduced-risk repellents will control an infestation. Controlling the aphids early will help prevent the appetizing mold.
These regular sprays will also control the other invasive, leaf eating insects feeding on your property.
We here at Fox are always available to service all your tree and plant healthcare needs. Our licensed, educated, and experienced arborists are on call to help your property thrive. Whether we are removing trees OR pests, the health of your property is paramount!
So as always,