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This Pest Has A Hunger For Destroying Beautiful Trees


Scale on a crapemyrtle tree
Photos courtesy of Starker Wright

Scientific Name: Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae (Kuwana)

Common Name: Crapemyrtle bark scale

Friend or Pest (or both):  Pest.

Region and Diet? This insect is native to East Asia and feeds on the sap of the vividly colorful crapemyrtle trees, as well as apple and blackberry plants.

Impact on agriculture? Crapemyrtle bark scale is an introduced pest that feeds on crapemyrtles, ornamental flowering trees that are prized for their beauty. First detected in North America in Texas in 2004, this pest has spread patchily across the southeastern United States and has moved north into the Mid-Atlantic area. Infestation of these trees and bushes can result in branch dieback, stunted growth, and reduction in the size and abundance of its flowers.

Read more in First Record of Crapemyrtle Bark Scale From Pennsylvania