Lacebugs on azalea

Lacebugs on azalea

By Paul Schnare

Saturday, June 7, 2003

Lacebugs are small sucking insects that can cause considerable damage to azaleas and hawthorns. These small bugs are about 1/16 to 1/8 inch long. They usually have a light colored body, with clear, transparent, lacy wings.

Adults lay eggs in clusters among leaf veins on the undersurface of the leaf. The nymphs hatch in spring and mature rapidly. The nymphs and adults have mouth-parts like hypodermic needles. They insert their mouth into the leaf and suck juices out of the leaf. The result is a leaf that has a gray cast to the upper surface of the leaf. On the lower surface of the leaf, you will find “tar spots”. These spots are insect excrement.

Control these insects by spraying with diazanon, malathion, or cygon. Make sure that you spray under the leaves, as well as on top of the leaves. Make two applications about one week apart. Make sure that you follow the label directions on the pesticides that you use. Monitor your plants for new infestations on a bi-weekly basis.