Crape Myrtle Bark Scale in SC – Clemson University Department of Plant Industry announced in September that crape myrtle bark scale (CMBS) was positively identified throughout the Columbia metro area. This is the first confirmation of CMBS in the state. The infestation was described as being ‘extensive’ and likely present for quite some time.
CMBS was first identified in the U.S. in 2004 in the Dallas area and has since been found in about a dozen states. Movement through the plant trade is the most likely explanation for spread into the area. The scale can survive the chipping process and be transmitted through dirty pruning tools. This scale insect feeds on the sap of crape myrtle trees but, so far, does not appear to be fatal to the tree. Honeydew is commonly produced and, therefore, is an indicator of an infestation.
Spotted Lanternfly Risk Map – A new map was released evaluating the U.S. for suitability of establishment of spotted lanternfly (SLF). This is the first effort to identify areas at most risk based on temperature, elevation, and rainfall amounts. Populations of SLF are currently established in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and New Jersey. SLF has been found in Maryland, New York, and Connecticut but is not believed to be established.
The new risk map signals potential hot spots in most of New England, the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Pacific coastal states. The intermountain West, Southwest, and upper Midwest look to remain mostly SLF-free.
This study was conducted by USDA Agricultural Research Service Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research Unit in Washington State. More information can be found in the full report.