February Lawn Pest of the Month: Azalea Lace Bug
Azaleas are a popular landscaping plant due to their ease of care and their beauty, but for all their ease, they are not without a few common pest problems. One of those is the azalea lace bug, which is a common Gainesville lawn pest that we see.
These azalea insects can cause significant damage to a plant if not controlled. Lace bug damage to azaleas tends to be cosmetic, but they can ruin the look of a healthy azalea very quickly. Identifying Azalea Lace Bug Damage Lace bug damage to azaleas normally occurs on the leaves and will look like silvery, white or yellow spots that make the plant look faded and losing vigor. This is caused by these lace bugs literally sucking small sections of the leaf dry and killing that section of the plant. As these azalea leaf pests move on across the leaf, more and spots will appear causing the greyish coloring.
You will also know if you have these common lawn pests by looking at the underside of the Azalea's leaves, where the lace bug tends to reside. If you see a sticky black substance or a rust color, this is another sign that you have these azalea insects. You may even find the azalea lace bug on the leaves. The lace bug can be identified by their “lace” like wings, but commonly you will just see small spots which are the juveniles.
The azalea lace bug prefers both our larger and dwarf azaleas in north Florida, but can also attack the deciduous varieties as well.
How to Get Rid of Azalea Lace Bug
These azalea insect problems are best avoided in the first place by pre-emptive control. The azalea lace bug tends to attack plants that are already weakened due to poor fertilizing or watering, so make sure to take proper care of your plants with an Ornamental Fertilization Program. If your azalea shrub is already infested with these azalea leaf pests, you can try this method for getting rid of them. Lace Bug Pest control involves using insecticidal soaps (some of which are organic) and most off the shelf insecticides will effectively kill azalea lace bugs.
Lace bug damage to azaleas does not have to be devastating to your Gainesville yard. With a little know-how, these landscape insect problems can be dealt prevented and eliminated. Contact our team at (352) 378-5296 or the contact form above if we can help in any way!