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The crapemyrtle bark scale is an invasive insect pest that was first reported in the United States in 2004. The scale has since spread all across the USA. A group of entomologists, horticulturalists, and economists around the country have teamed together to tackle this pest.

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Dr. Held New Chair of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology

Dr. Held New Chair of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology

Congratulations to our colleague Dr. David Held from the crapemyrtle bark scale team for his promotion to Chair of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Auburn University. http://blog-agriculture.auburn.edu/theseason/held-named-chair-of-the-department-of-entomology-and-plant-pathology Congratulations Dr. Held! ...
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Dr. Gary Knox Receives Meadows Award

Dr. Gary Knox Receives Meadows Award

Dr. Gary Knox is the 2020 recipient of the Sidney B. Meadows Award of Merit from the International Plant Propagators’ Society (IPPS), Southern Region of North America. The Meadows award honors and recognizes outstanding individuals for their contributions to the nursery industry and to plant propagation in the Southern Region of North America. It is the highest honor bestowed upon an IPPS Southern Region member. Gary first became a member of IPPS in 1979 when he was a student at Purdue University. Dr. Knox is now with the University of Florida/IFAS as professor of environmental horticulture, Nursery Crops Extension Specialist, and director of Gardens of the Big Bend at the North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC) in Quincy. Dr ...
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Feeding preference and host range tests of crapemyrtle bark scale on economically important crops

Feeding preference and host range tests of crapemyrtle bark scale on economically important crops

Crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS; Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae) is an exotic pest species that is causing aesthetic and economic damages to crapemyrtles and posing potential threats to other horticultural crops. Although previous studies reported the infestation of CMBS on at least 13 alternative hosts within families of Buxaceae, Cannabaceae, Combretaceae, Ebenaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Lythraceae, Moraceae, Oleaceae, Phyllanthaceae, and Rosaceae in Asia, its potential threats to other documented alternative hosts remain elusive and yet to be confirmed in the United States. Feeding preference trials of CMBS were conducted on forty-nine plant species and cultivars in 2016 and 2019. The infestations of CMBS were confirmed on Malus domestica (apple), Chaenomeles speciosa (flowering quince), Diospyros rhombifolia (diamond-leaf persimmon), Heimia salicifolia (sinicuichi), Lagerstroemia 'Spiced Plum' (crapemyrtle), ...
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Crapemyrtle Bark Scale Honeydew Secretion

Crapemyrtle Bark Scale Honeydew Secretion

Black sooty mold is one of the major issues with heavy crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS; Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae) infestation, which greatly reduces the aesthetic value of host plants. Black sooty mold can be seen not only on crapemyrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.) but also on alternative hosts infested with CMBS such as American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) and pomegranates (Punica granatum) (Figure 1). Sooty mold is a collective term that comprises of several genera of fungi including Aureobasidium, Antennariella, Cladosporium, Capnodium, Limacinula, and Scorias [1]. These fungi grow on the honeydew secreted by sucking insects (such as CMBS nymphs) when they are actively feeding on the plant [2,3]. Figure 1. Black sooty mold found on pomegranate (Punica granatum; A and B), American beautyberry (Callicarpa ...
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Harmonia axyridis feeding on CMBS. Photo by Daniel Tomi

Attracting lady beetles for Conservation Biocontrol of Crapemyrtle Bark Scale

Crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS) poses a huge threat to the utility of crapemyrtle trees by reducing aesthetic value due to sooty mold growth and disrupting photosynthesis. Currently, most homeowners and nursery producers rely on chemical insecticides to manage CMBS populations, but these pesticides can negatively impact natural enemies, pollinators, and the environment at large. Different management approaches are being investigated to reduce the reliance on insecticides, particularly systemic insecticides to reduce CMBS populations and damage. When insects feed on plants, the plants emit a blend of volatile odors; ‘smell’s that are released into the air. One function of these volatile odors is to attract predators to attack the herbivores. Multiple species of lady beetles present already in landscapes are attacking ...
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Announcing Webinars!

Announcing Webinars!

We are offering a 4-part webinar focusing on systematic crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS) management strategies. CMBS has been confirmed in all Southeastern states except Florida and as north as Kansas and Washington. It has significantly affected landscape and aesthetic value of crapemyrtle plants. Hope you can join us for all parts of the webinars. Attendees are asked to pre-register. Webinar recordings will be made available shortly after the webinars are live. See below for a general schedule of the webinars; stay tuned for more information in the near future. May 27, 2020: Feeding preference of Lagerstroemia (Crapemyrtle), Punica (pomegranate), and Callicarpa (beautyberry) taxa; consumer and grower preference survey. See below for recording: June 24, 2020: Mechanical control and biopesticides to ...
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Crapemyrtle bark scale Online Webinar

Crapemyrtle bark scale Online Webinar

Tune in today, Friday March 27th, at 11 am CST, for an online webinar hosted by North Carolina State University (Stacey Jones) on crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS); the invasive insect pest of crapemyrtles. The presenter will be Erfan Vafaie, covering the introduction, spread, population dynamics, and management of crapemyrtle bark scale for landscapers, nursery growers, and homeowners. Presentation co-authors include Dr. Mengmeng Gu, Dr. Mike Merchant, Dr. John Hopkins, Dr. James A. Robbins, Dr. Yan Chen, Dr. Kevin Heinz, Kyle Gilder, and Kenneth Masloski. The PowerPoint presentation and PDF is already available on our website for download: https://stopcmbs.com/resources/presentations/ The presentation will be recorded and made available for viewing; visit this page in the near future to get an update on ...
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Testing Biopesticides to Manage Crapemyrtle Bark Scale

Testing Biopesticides to Manage Crapemyrtle Bark Scale

Additional contributors to this article include: Dr. Rodrigo Diaz, Dr. Yan Chen, Dr. Blake Wilson, and Dr. Vinson Doyle. Current crapemyrtle bark scale management methods depend heavily on pesticides, which can have a negative impact on beneficial insects. Biopesticides, insecticides that are developed from live organisms, have shown potential for managing several pests and have low impact on non-target insects and other organisms. The objectives of this research were to determine (1) if biopesticides can be used as a management tool to suppress crapemyrtle bark scale in different seasons, and (2) effects towards beneficial lady beetles known to attack crapemyrtle bark scale. For those interested, here as some details as to how we designed our trial. Treatments were applied as ...
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Containerized Crapemyrtle Bark Scale Trial

Containerized Crapemyrtle Bark Scale Trial

In Overton, Texas, we're about done tying up crapemyrtles, getting them on drip irrigation, and starting pre-assessments. We have a total of 100 standard (Queen's Lace) and 100 dwarf (Pocomoke) cultivars, all highly infested with crapemyrtle bark scale, for our research trial. Before deciding what insecticides and timing of applications we would try, we had to summarize some of our past results. All of our past work on crapemyrtle bark scale insecticide trials are available through Arthropod Management Tests (https://academic.oup.com/amt and search for "crapemyrtle bark scale"). If you're feeling a bit intimidated by the papers in Arthropod Management Tests, I made a short video tutorial walking through some of the jargon used in insecticide efficacy work. The following table is ...
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Gulf States Horticultural Expo - Crapemyrtle bark scale team

Gulf States Horticultural Expo – Crapemyrtle bark scale team

The crapemyrtle bark scale team started 2019 off with an afternoon session at GSHE in Mobile, Alabama on January 30, 2019. Attendees included landscapers, growers, regulators and other researchers. Some of the topics covered included new crapemyrtle cultivars, common pests and pathogens of crapemyrtles, management of crapemyrtle bark scale in the landscape and nursery, and alternative plant hosts of crapemyrtle bark scale. The PDFs of the presentations can be downloaded from the Presentations page ...
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