Crepe myrtles are beautiful trees that originate from Asia, and they have become quite popular in the United States. It’s quite easy to take care of them, yet they are often harmed by 3 common pests: Asian ambrosia beetles, Japanese beetles, and aphids.
These pesky pests can significantly damage the tree and weaken it so that it becomes susceptible to deadly fungal diseases. It’s hard to treat these diseases, which is why you should do everything in your power to get rid of pests.
In this article, we are going to discuss what these pests do and how to get rid of them. Let’s get started!
What Will These Pests Do To Your Crepe Myrtle?
Asian ambrosia beetles are small, dark brown to black insects that can create small holes in the tree. This is where the female beetle lays eggs and attracts a fungus called ambrosia that feeds their offspring. Newly-hatched females mate and go to lay eggs on another tree.
Japanese beetles have metallic blue to green heads along with copper-colored wings. These bothersome beetles munch on the tree’s leaves until there’s nothing but the skeleton left behind. This affects the normal biological processes of a tree, thus making it significantly weaker.
Lastly, we have aphids. These are tiny and hardly noticeable pests that suck the sap from the leaves, which ultimately leads to yellowing of the leaves and other discoloration. Aphids are common garden pests that not only affect your trees, but also various plants in the garden.
How To Eliminate These Pests
To eliminate Asian ambrosia beetles, you should cut off any affected branches. In case the trunk is severely damaged, you should consider removing the entire tree. You can apply endosulfan or diazinon to prevent further infestations.
Japanese beetles can be simply handpicked and then thrown in soapy water. You can’t do that with aphids, but you can use insecticidal soaps, pesticides, or epsom salt.
What you can also do is introduce predatory insects, like ladybugs – these will completely devour aphids on your crepe myrtle.
Generally, it’s always best to prevent infestation than to treat one later. I would suggest you regularly check your crepe myrtle trees and see if there are any pests crawling around.
During the early growth season, you can also spray preventive insecticides to ward off these pests before they become a serious issue. It’s also crucial to keep following adequate tree care in order to keep your tree healthy and happy.
Also read: This Simple Ingredient Can Protect Your Plants From Aphids