All of our crepe myrtles (7 yrs to new shoots) are covered with tiny white...

Asked July 2, 2014, 10:34 AM EDT

All of our crepe myrtles (7 yrs to new shoots) are covered with tiny white flies on the top of the leaf and millions of black (eggs?) on the back side. They showed up around the end of May. They are sucking the life out of every leaf. Could you please let us know what they are and what to do to save our crepe myrtles? They have not shown up on any of our other shrubs yet. thank you

Anne Arundel County Maryland trees and shrubs crepe myrtle

1 Response

It looks like you have crepe myrtle aphids. The second photo looks like shed aphid skins. If the trees are small, repeated washing with a strong stream of water will keep them under control until the beneficial insects take over. If you want to try insecticidal soap or horticultural oil, be sure you use them when it is cool. A systemic insecticide could be used if the trees are finished flowering to reduce harm to bees. Safari does not last as long as some systemics and might be a better choice if you feel you have to use a systemic. Follow directions if you decide to use a chemical. vw