What is Eating My Crepe Myrtle Leaves?

Your crepe myrtle leaves may be eaten by caterpillars, japanese beetles, or spider mites. These pests could cause damage to your plant’s leaves, causing them to turn brown and fall off sooner than their natural time.

Crepe myrtles are loved for their colorful and attractive flowers, which bloom during summer. However, the beauty of these trees can be compromised by pests that like to munch on its delicate leaves. As a gardener, it’s essential to keep an eye out for common crepe myrtle pests, such as caterpillars, japanese beetles, and spider mites. These insects can cause significant damage to your tree, including stripping the leaves off them and causing premature shedding. In this article, we’ll examine the different pests that can eat your crepe myrtle leaves, their behaviors, and ways to control their population.

What is Eating My Crepe Myrtle Leaves?

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Signs Of Crepe Myrtle Leaf Damage

Crepe myrtle leaf damage is easy to spot. Leaves may have holes, chew marks and discoloration. Insects such as japanese beetles, aphids and caterpillars are common culprits. Damage can stunt growth, create weakness and reduce the tree’s immune system. In severe cases, a lack of leaves can lead to death.

When identifying damage, it’s important to check the stem and branches too. Photos of damaged leaves can help in diagnosis and selecting the appropriate course of action.

Common Pests And Diseases

Crepe myrtle leaves can be affected by various pests and diseases that can lead to damage. Aphids are one of the most common pests that tend to feed on the sap of crepe myrtle leaves, causing yellow spots on the leaves, stunted growth, and distorted leaves.

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Spider mites are another type of pests that are known to cause leaf damage by piercing the leaves and sucking the sap. These pests can cause yellowing, stippling, and curling leaves. Powdery mildew is a common fungal disease that causes white powder-like substance on the leaves, leading to leaf distortion, yellowing, and leaf drop.

It is essential to identify the type of pest or disease affecting your crepe myrtle leaves and treat them promptly to prevent further damage.

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Natural Ways To Protect Crepe Myrtle Leaves

Crepe myrtle trees are prized for their showy blooms and beautiful foliage. However, they can also be susceptible to pests and diseases that can damage their leaves and diminish their appearance. To keep your crepe myrtle healthy and looking great, there are natural ways to protect the leaves.

One of the simplest methods is to introduce ladybugs to the area. These beneficial insects are known to feed on aphids, which are a common pest of crepe myrtles. Additionally, neem oil can be used as an organic insecticide. It works by disrupting the feeding habits of pests and can also deter fungus and other diseases.

It’s also important to maintain soil health and ensure proper watering habits. Soil that is healthy and well-draining can help to keep crepe myrtle trees strong and resistant to pests and diseases.

Chemical Treatments For Crepe Myrtle Trees

Chemical treatments for crepe myrtle trees can be effective in treating pest infestations and diseases. Examples of insecticides that work for crepe myrtles include ortho insect killer and bonide systemic insect control. Fungicides such as bonide fung-onil are also effective in treating fungi.

However, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of these treatments. Chemical treatments can be harmful to beneficial insects and the environment. They typically last for a few weeks, so multiple treatments might be necessary. In addition, it’s essential to use these treatments according to the instructions and dispose of the containers properly.

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Always wear gloves and protective clothing while applying these treatments. It’s recommended to consider natural or organic treatments first before resorting to harsh chemicals.


After reading this post, you should now have a better understanding of what may be causing your crepe myrtle leaves to look less than healthy. Whether it’s pests like the japanese beetle or fungus-like powdery mildew, the solutions are within your reach.

Understanding the signs and symptoms of an issue with your crepe myrtle can help you take proactive measures to keep your trees healthy and strong. Remember that prevention is key when it comes to protecting your plants from pests and disease.

Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if necessary, as certified arborists can provide valuable insight and treatments to promote your crepe myrtle’s overall health and vitality. By taking the proper care measures and addressing any issues promptly, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of your crepe myrtle for years to come.