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Crepe Myrtle Aphid Diagnostic Guide

Tinocallis kahawaluokalani

Crepe myrtle aphid is an important pest of crepe myrtles throughout their range. Aphids use their piercing sucking mouthparts to extract sap from the tender, new growth of plants. Aphid feeding creates distorted/chlorotic leaves, and copious amounts of honey dew in which sooty mold grows on. Honey dew and sooty mold can coat; leaves, stems, and anything else growing underneath affected plants.

Trees at Risk

Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia spp).

Crepe Myrtle

Signs of Damage

  • Aphid feeding causes curled discolored (chlorotic) leaves.
  • Feeding aphids excrete honeydew making the plant sticky.
  • A black fungus called sooty mold may be growing on the honeydew.
  • Monophagous, only found on crepe myrtle.
Crepe Myrtle Aphids

Patrick Anderson, RTSA

Crepe Myrtle Aphids

Patrick Anderson, RTSA

Physical Appearance

  • Aphids are slow moving, oval to pear-shaped insects ranging in size from 1/16 to 1/8 inch long.
  • Pipe-like protrusions extending off the back of the insect are visible with a hand lens.
  • Winged adults have dark-tipped antennae and two double-pronged humps on the back.
  • Crepe myrtle aphids nymphs resemble wingless adults, but are smaller and have black spikes on their abdomen.

Biology

  • Overwinter as eggs on hosts bark.
  • In spring the eggs hatch and aphids migrate into summer hosts.
  • In late summer eggs are laid again.
  • Several generations per year.

Treatment Strategy

Early detection is the key in reducing infestations of aphid. Examine areas near the buds and on the undersides of the new leaves for aphids. When natural enemies, like the lady beetle, are not sufficient in keeping the population in check, insecticides are very effective for controlling aphids. Contact insecticides can be used on exposed aphids. Soil applied systemic insecticides are also very effective and can be applied once in the fall or spring to deliver control throughout the growing season.

Other Treatment Practices

Proper watering and the avoidance of heavy nitrogen fertilizer, which promotes succulent plant growth, can help reduce aphid damage.

  • Soil Application using Xytect 2F

    Dosage: 0.1 - 0.2 oz/in of DBH
    Timing: Early spring or fall
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Xytect 2F Insecticide
    Xytect 2F Login for pricing
  • Foliar Spray using Xytect 2F

    Dosage: 1.5 oz/100 gal water
    Timing: As pest appear
    Re-Treatment: As needed
    Xytect 2F Insecticide
    Xytect 2F Login for pricing
  • Soil Application using Xytect 75WSP 22 packets

    Dosage: 1 pkt treats 48 in of DBH
    Timing: Early spring or fall
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets Login for pricing
  • Foliar Spray using Xytect 75WSP 22 packets

    Dosage: 1 pkt/300 gal water
    Timing: As pest appear
    Re-Treatment: As needed
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets Login for pricing
  • Soil Application using Transtect

    Dosage: 1 pkt/5 – 17 in DBH
    Timing: Early spring – summer (as pests appear)
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Transtect 70WSP Insecticide
    Transtect Login for pricing
  • Systemic Bark Spray using Transtect

    Dosage: 6 pkt/1 gal water (1.5 – 2 oz /in DBH) trees < 24 in DBH 6-12 pkt/1 gal water (1.5 – 2 oz/in DBH) trees > 24 in DBH
    Timing: Early spring – summer (as pests appear)
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Transtect 70WSP Insecticide
    Transtect Login for pricing
  • Foliar Spray using Transtect

    Dosage: 1 pkt/25 – 50 gal water
    Timing: As pest appear
    Re-Treatment: As needed
    Transtect 70WSP Insecticide
    Transtect Login for pricing
  • Soil Application using Lepitect

    Dosage: 0.2 – 0.4 oz/in DBH
    Timing: Begin applications early summer, just before eggs hatch.
    Re-Treatment: Follow up applications can be made at 30 day intervals as needed.
    Lepitect Systemic Tree & Ornamental Insecticide
    Lepitect Login for pricing
  • Foliar Spray using Up-Star Gold

    Dosage: 10.8 oz/100 gallons water
    Timing: As pest appear
    Re-Treatment: Applications can be made at 30 day intervals as needed.
    Up-Star Gold
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  • Foliar Spray using Orthene TT&O WSP

    Dosage: 10 2/3 oz/100 gal water
    Timing: As pest appear
    Re-Treatment: Applications can be made at 30 day intervals as needed.
    Orthene TT&O WSP
    Orthene TT&O WSP Login for pricing
  • Foliar Spray using Tengard

    Dosage: 4 oz/100 gal water
    Timing: As pest appear
    Re-Treatment: Applications can be made at 30 day intervals as needed.
    Tengard
    Tengard Login for pricing

Treatment Expectations

Aphids are an easily controlled pest with Xytect™ and any of the products described above.

A Diagnostic Guide is designed to help you identify a pest issue and management solutions. Always refer to product label for all rates and approved uses. Some images courtesy forestryimages.org. Use of the images does not imply endorsement of treatments by forestryimages.org

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