Lace Bugs are beautiful (but destructive) winged insects that live on the underside of the leaf. They feed by inserting needle-like mouthparts into the leaf tissue. While Lace Bugs have many host species, we usually see the most damage on Azaleas, Japanese Pieris, and Rhododendron. Plants that are located in full sun with Lace Bug damage will fair worse than plants that are in more shady areas of your yard.

Symptoms of Lace Bug damage include “bleaching” of the foliage that is irreversible. Plants with heavy infestations can even turn dark green foliage completely white. Even though Lace Bugs have wings, they tend not to fly away upon inspection. To check to see if your plants have Lace Bugs, turn the leaf over and look for the insects themselves or look for their tell-tale droppings and debris.

Fortunately Lace Bugs are relatively easy to treat and manage. New foliage produced by the host plant will replace damaged plant material so plants can usually be salvaged post Lace Bug infestation.

Direction for treatment of this pest depends on the time of the year and level of damage. If you suspect your plants are being infested with Lace Bugs, reach out and we’d be happy to help.