Insects

Lacebugs

Lacebugs
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Various species of these true bugs are found in all parts of the country. Both the whitish, 1/8-inch-long, lacy winged adults and the darker, wingless nymphs, suck sap from leaf undersides. Despite their wings, adult lace bugs seldom fly; they have a slow sideways movement. Sometimes called lacewings.

Target: Many ornamental trees and shrubs, especially Azaleas and Rhododendrons.

Damage: Leaves lose color and are speckled or blotched. Plants decrease in vigor and bloom poorly.

Life cycle: Adults insert egg clusters into leaf veins or cement them to leaves. Some species overwinter as eggs, others as adults. There are several generations a year.

Notes: Unlike leafhoppers, which cause similar damage, lacebugs leave obvious spots of dark excrement on leaf undersides.