Spring has arrived, and now is the perfect time to inspect your Atlanta ornamentals for signs of azalea lace bug damage.  Lace bugs overwinter as eggs, or lie dormant during the cool temperatures and hatch during the spring.  Lace bugs are minute insects, approximately 1/8 of an inch long, with clear cells forming a lace like pattern on the adult wings, hence their name “lace bug”.  Azalea lace bugs feed on the underside of azalea leaves, by sucking out the sap causing damage that is evident on the upper surface of the leaves, leaving the top of the leaves with white or yellow speckles.  Once the injury has been sustained, the damage will remain visible until the leaf falls from the plant.  Lace bug damage detracts from the overall beauty of your landscape, as well as reducing the shrubs ability to withstand against stress and diseases.  Azalea lace bugs are most likely to attack azalea bushes in a hot, dry and sunny environments.  Lace bug infestations can also be avoided by:

  • Planting in partial shade
  • Maintaining proper planting, fertilizing and watering
  • Examine regularly for signs of disease/stress