Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lace Bugs are Active Now

For all of you nursery and landscape professionals, be on the lookout for Lace Bugs on Azaleas and Lantana. If this pest has been a problem for you historically, now is the time to treat. If you have never had an issue with this pest, do not apply an insecticide; As members of the Green Industry, we should never haphazardly "spray and pray."

This is an easy insect to identify: large lacy wings (hence the name), black-and-white coloration and a tendency to stay in groups on the undersides of the leaves.

The black dots on the undersides of the leaves are a combination of their varnish-like excrement and egg masses. The mommas guard their eggs, keeping predators away.Damage to the leaves is a bleaching effect. On susceptible cultivars, they can turn the plants white, severely impacting their vigor and aesthetic value.Want to avoid insecticides all together? Choose a cultivar that is resistant to infestations by Lace Bugs. There are too many azalea cultivars for me to get into, but I will say that the Southern Indica cultivar 'Delaware Valley White' is very tasty to a Lace Bug.

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