Question: It looks like it’s raining from my crape myrtle leaves. They’re also shiny and sticky. What causes that?

Answer: That’s the honeydew secretion from crape myrtle aphids.  You’ll see them congregated on the plants’ leaves and new growth, generally from mid-summer on.  By the time the leaves are completely coated in the residue the populations will be severe.  Treat at first evidence. Watch for shiny speckles of honeydew on the leaves as you mow and work in your landscape.  Apply a labeled systemic insecticide to control them.  Left unchecked, the honeydew will give rise to black sooty mold growth which can, in turn, lead to premature leaf drop.

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