Crape myrtles are nice looking ornamental flowering plants that form a big part of how many people picture the beautiful landscapes that can be seen in the Southeastern United States. These flowers are planted both privately and commercially for their attractiveness in the southern US states. Sadly, this flower is now becoming endangered as a result of an insect pest from Asia finding its way into the United States.
The Asian insect pest is aptly known as the crape myrtle bark scale because of its taste for crape myrtles. The pest was first discovered in Texas back in 2004, and since then the insect pest has spread to eleven different states.
These insects suck the sap from crape myrtles, which results in stunted growth for the plants. Once this occurs the flowers rarely develop properly, and the otherwise beautiful flowering tree start to look unsightly. The academic communities in the most heavily infected states are working to find a solution to the pest problem.
How could shipments from Asia be better regulated to ensure that no insect pests are imported to America from Asia?