The crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS) work has been partially supported by Center for Applied Nursery Research, AmericanHort Horticulture Research Institute, USDA NIFA Awards No. 2014-70006-22632 (CPPM), and No. 2017-51181-26831 (SCRI). team-members

New members

February, 2014 Pest Alert-CMBS in Nursery Management nurserymag CMBS. A relatively new exotic scale pest of crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia spp.) is threatening the use and appearance of crape myrtles in urban landscapes in and near Texas. Crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS) is relatively easy to identify. It is one of the only scales known to infest crapemyrtles. Adult females are felt-like white or gray encrustations that stick to crape myrtle parts ranging from small twigs to large trunks. When crushed, these scales exude pink “blood”-like liquid. Read more here EHT049 CMBS. See the current spread and report CMBS here .

Discovery and spread of Eriococcus lagerstroemiae Kuwana (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), a new invasive pest of crapemyrtle, Lagerstroemia spp. (ESA Poster Discov and spread 2014)

16 genera in 13 families have been reported in literature including Buxus, Celtis, Diospyros, Glycine, Lagerstroemia, Punica, Ficus, Myrtus, Ligustrum, Ternstroemia, Malus and Rubus (see the complete list and country of distribution scalenet 16 generas). In the U.S., infestation was found on native American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) in natural settings in TX and LA, and three Lythraceae plants (Lawsonia inermis, Heimia salicifolia, and Lythrum alatum) in a no-choice test.

We are looking at the CMBS population dynamics using double-sided sticky tape (the crawlers stuck on tapes) in Little Rock, AR since 2014, and in Texas (College Station, Huntsville, Tyler, and Dallas) and Louisiana (Houma and Shreveport) since 2015. We found no difference on tapes between upper and lower branches CMBS poster-1204-Haidee Dou – Copy.


CMBS crawlers stuck on double-sided tapes and brought to lab for counting.


We started to see CMBS crawlers in February, a peak in May and July, and continuous crawler activities in the fall.

Initial evaluations of varietal preferences were assessed on 24 and 25 June 2014 in McKinney, TX. The Parks Department of the City of McKinney has assembled a world collection of crape myrtle varieties planted along city roadways and in parks.  We (MG, MEM, EF) selected five trees from 22 varieties to evaluate possible differences in scale preference or survival.  We assigned each tree a subjective rating of 0 to 10 for four characters: (1) scale density on upper branches; (2) scale density on trunks; (3) overall presence of sooty mold on branches and trunks; and (4) overall assessment of plant vigor.  In addition, we clipped three randomly chosen branches, at least 30 cm length, for estimating scale density.  Branches were placed in plastic bags and returned to the laboratory for counting under a microscope. See the mean number of scales (crawlers/nymphs/adults on 3 branches per tree) for 22 crapemyrtle cultivars.

In 2015 and 2016, we grew 20 crapemyrtle taxa in containers and all were infested with CMBS. These taxa included Acoma, Basham’s Party Pink, Black Diamond Crimson, Black Diamond Best Red,  Black Diamond Pure White, Catawba, Country Red, Diamond Dazzle, Fantasy, Natchez, William Toovey, L. subcostata, L. guilinensis, L. speciosa, L. limii, Muskogee, Pocomoke, Sarah’s Favorite, Sioux, and Tuscarora.

McKinney 22 cultivars

We’ve done several webinars on CMBS and crapemyrtles–Current Situation on Crape Myrtle Bark Scale (Recorded webinar); Crapemyrtle cultivars and their landscape use (Recorded webinar); Other crapemyrtle problems and control strategies (Recorded Webinar). August 20, 2016, a half day “All about crapemyrtle” workshop.

CMBS fire ants Huntsville

Lots of association with ants and fire ants. What are they doing?


Crapemyrtle planting infested by CMBS in Beijing Botanic Garden.


Heavy CMBS infestation on current-year growth.


Infestation on CMBS on a flower/fruit parts.


CMBS settling under loose bark may be harder to control by direct contact insecticides or ladybeetles.


“Bleeding” from a fingernail scaping confirms live overwintering CMBS.


CMBS infestations that are exposed to the sun (left) may look different from the shade (right) on the same twig.


An “easy entry” via an injury or pruning wound, where CMBS may first settle.

CMBS flower effect tree

Treated (L) and untreated (R) for CMBS. Photo courtesy Dr. Jim Robbins.

CMBS crawler generation Zylam little rock

The number of CMBS crawlers on treated (red) and untreated (blue) trees. Photo courtesy Dr. Jim Robbins.

CMBS flower effect

Flowers from the trees (treated and untreated for CMBS). Photo courtesy Dr. Jim Robbins.

CMBS spring leafing

Treated tree (L) leafed out earlier than the untreated one (R). Photo courtesy Dr. Jim Robbins.









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