Ever take a walk around your yard and marvel at the beauty of nature? The trees, leaves, flowers, and wildlife all work together in a complex ecosystem. Unfortunately, sometimes that ecosystem requires that critters feed off plants or bushes native to our area in order to survive. Lace Bugs are one such critter that could be feeding off your azaleas, rhododendrons, broadleaf evergreens or a range of deciduous trees.
Would you be able to recognize the damage on your plants in your yard and know what steps to take to treat your plantings? Carpenter Costin has years of experience identifying insects that could be damaging your plantings.
Today, we are examining the Lace Bug, including what they are, how they got their unique name, the type of damage they can inflict, and how homeowners should proceed should they find that this bug is infesting their yard.
What Are Lace Bugs & How Did They Get Their Name?
Lace Bugs are fairly tiny insects (about ⅛ - ⅓ of an inch long at the adult phase). They have light colored bodies with wings that emerge from the thorax.
The uncommon look of the Lace Bug will help you understand the origin of its name. The entire outer body of the Lace Bug is covered in cells or veins that resemble lace. The net-like pattern of this “lace” looks very delicate but can cause some damage to the leaves of your plantings, most specially azaleas and rhododendrons in our region.
What Kind of Damage Can They Do?
Most Lace Bug damage becomes clearly noticeable on the leaves of plantings by mid-to-late summer. The damage that most homeowners first notice includes white or yellow mottled spots
on the leaves caused by the adult or nymph Lace Bug inserting its needle-like mouthparts into it to feed.
As a Lace Bug sucks the nutrients out of the leaves of the planting, it causes damage due to a loss of nutrients and damage to the underside of the leaf due to the piercing of the surface. If the feeding is heavy enough, it can lead to brown or yellow spots to appear and possibly early leaf drop.
Over the course of a few years of Lace Bug damage, a planting can experience reduced plant growth or even progress to a point of being beyond rescue.
How To Treat For Lace Bugs
When identified early, Lace Bugs can be controlled through systemic insecticide. We also recommend preventative measures for plantings that commonly become infested.
- Begin plant inspections in early spring to catch an infestation early. Be sure to check under the leaves for these small bugs.
- Use preventative treatments that can keep the bugs at bay on plantings that commonly become infested.
- Use a high power washer that can wash away the nymphs. Since nymphs do not have wings they will be unable to return to the planting to continue to feed and grow.
- Consider natural predators of LaceBugs that could keep them under control in your yard such as mites, spiders, and lady beetles.
If you have a Lace Bug issue in your yard, request a free consultation and our team can inspect and come up with a proper and comprehensive course of treatment right for your property.