Weird black bugs crawling up my crepe myrtle

alison_charleston(Z8)March 27, 2012

So this is not the first time this week I have seen these groups of black bugs traveling up the branch of my crepe myrtle. Any clues to what they are?? In the second picture you can see the one group and then another group coming up at the base of the trunk.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I know exactly what they are, having seen them several times in Hilton Head/Beaufort,SC. I think it might have been on Rose Hill Plantation (you're familiar, probably) that I first saw them...and on a Crape myrtle! Pretty weird, huh?

They are winged and non-winged versions of the Giant Bark Aphid, an insect that I am pretty sure is pretty rare, at least in my experience. It is considered the largest of all the aphids.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Cool. They are almost never a problem because they have a tendency to maintain themselves and not over-populate. I recommend leaving them alone. Maybe even try an experiment: communicate with nature and ask for praying mantises and parasitic wasps. Then keep your eyes open and see what happens. I am a firm believer that these things come in answer to our prayers. Have fun!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 8:07PM
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