Lacebugs can be a concern for ornamental shrubs such as rhododendrons, azaleas, and andromedas.
Inspect the undersides of leaves for eggs and nymphs. Upon seeing just a few, wash them off the plant with a strong water spray and keep a watch for more bugs appearing. This method will forestall damage to the plant. You may also want to begin using insecticidal soap or horticultural oil on the plant as a preventative measure.
Whether using water, soap or oil, bear in mind that you must completely drench the leaves tops and undersides. If you don’t catch the infestation until the damaging stage, which will show on leaves (pictured left), then you’ll need to go a bit further in treating the plant. Come in and see us for guidance!
Ornamental shrubs will recover from lacebug damage; however, they will continue to damage the plant again the next season. Photographs by James. L. Castner, University of Florida.