Crape Myrtle Bark Scale (Eriococcus lagerstroemiae) - The crape myrtle bark scale was first confirmed in the USA in 2004 in the landscape near Dallas (TX), although it was likely introduced earlier. The scale is a sucking insect that feeds on the phloem (sap) of plants. As it feeds, it excretes a sugary solution known as “honeydew” (similar to aphids, whiteflies, and other sucking insects). Heavy infestations of crape myrtle bark scale produce sufficient honeydew to coat leaves, stems and bark of the tree. This honeydew, in turn, will eventually turn black as it is colonized by a concoction of fungi, called sooty mold.