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Azalea Lace Bugs

Azalea lace bugs are the most common insect problem of azaleas. Adults are about 1/8 in. long with broad lacy wings, while the wingless nymphs are covered with spines. Lace bugs feed by sucking sap from the undersides of the leaves, causing affected leaves to have a stippled appearance. Infested shrubs have a bleached out appearance which progresses to bronzing with heavy or prolonged infestations. Because lace bugs overwinter as eggs inserted into plant tissue, you may not see live insects on infested plants in the winter months, but the dark fecal deposits they leave on the undersides of leaves remain as a definite sign of lace bug infestation. Azaleas growing in full sun, rather than filtered shade, are more prone to attack, and some varieties are more susceptible than others.

Control Azalea Lace Bugs: For fast-acting control of heavy lace bug infestations spray with a foliar applied systemic insecticide such as acephate (Bonide Systemic Insect Control) or imidacloprid + cyfluthrin (Bayer Complete Insect Killer). For long-lasting preventive control use a soil-applied systemic treatment such as imidacloprid (Bayer Tree and Shrub Insect Control) or dinotefuran (Greenlight Tree and Shrub Insect Control). For best control of heavy infestations apply a foliar spray of acephate and a soil treatment of imidacloprid or dinotefuran.

See Insect Pests of ornamental plants in the home landscape, page 17 and pages 35-36 for more information on azalea lace bugs.

 

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Crape myrtle bark scale were found in Mississippi in March. This invasive insect, photographed in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, on March 15, 2015, attacks beautiful and normally low-maintenance crape myrtles. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Insects-Ornamental Plants, Insects-Pests, Landscape Architecture, Trees April 2, 2015

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. -- A new insect pest found in Mississippi on March 15 could take away the crape myrtle’s status as a beautiful and low-maintenance landscape tree.

Crape myrtle bark scale, or CMBS, is an invasive insect that came to the United States from China. It was first found in Texas in 2004 and has since spread east to Shreveport and Houma, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Germantown, Tennessee. Ocean Springs joined this list when the insect was found on the coast in Jackson County.

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