azalea bloomsIf you have Azaleas, Pieris, Rhododendrons, Hawthorns, Cotoneasters, and a few other varieties of trees and shrubs on your property you really should learn about Lace Bugs. These wingless insects come in a variety of colors, are typically 1/8″ or less long, and have a thorax and forewings that have tiny clear cells that form a lace-like covering, hence the name “lace bugs.” They extract plant fluids from leaves with piercing mouth parts which often leaves a stippled look on leaf tissue.

lace bug damageMost Lace Bug activity occurs on the underside of leaves. The stippled feeding pattern on the leaves is often a dead giveaway. Gently take the leaves and turn them upside down. The insects will frequently remain and are easy to spot when you know what to look for. Damage can start with just a few spots appearing on the leaves and increase to the point when leaves are completely dull in color from the abundant damage. Lace Bugs will have several generations during one growing season, so at the time you notice damage it may be possible that you will not see insects. If you see dark brown-black fecal spotting on the undersides of the leaves, that is also a good clue that there has been Lace Bug activity.

Shrub SprayingChronic Lace Bug activity is stressful for plants as it disrupts normal photosynthetic processes in cells. The damage usually won’t cause serious harm but it will create substantial cosmetic damage to plants. Lace Bugs can be managed with enlisting a professional tree service. Plant Health Care programs that enlist both shrub and tree spraying as well as soil-applied systemic injections will help to manage Lace Bug populations. Soil injections for Lace Bugs work extremely well when compared to spraying. The underside of the leaf feeding of these insects make it challenging to reach them with spray materials. Systemic injections will translocate through the plant and will be ingested by the insect when feeding begins and will last for an entire year.

To learn more about Tree and Shrub Care treatments for Lace Bugs please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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