Crepe Myrtles Are Covered With Sticky Residue And White Powdery Substance

Question From: M. Laraby - Roseville, California, United States
Q: crape myrtles are cover with a sticking residue. The leaves are shiny and sticky. There is also a white powdery stuck to the sticky stuff. Is this from aphids? If so, should I just spray as I do my roses?

A: The powdery stuff is powdery mildew - a fungal disease. It's in the family as the disease that attacks roses, but not identical, so if you spray for it, be sure Crepe Myrtles are listed on the package. Sticky stuff is honey dew given off by aphids. A stiff spray of water will knock them off. Do it every three or four days to get rid of the stinkers. You can also spray for them. I'd use a neem oil product. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy,