Ornamental Threat: Lace Bugs

All Turf
August 17th, 2015

All Turf Lawn Care enjoys being your preferred Atlanta lawn care company, however, it is also important for homeowners to be aware of lawn threats when our experts are not around. So we are always happy to provide our customers with helpful lawn care information, including information about outdoor pests, like ‘Lace Bugs.’

Tiny Adversaries = Huge Threat

The dreaded lace bug comes in many varieties, but the most damaging are: the azalea and andromeda lace bugs (in the genera Stephanitis), the hawthorn and sycamore lace bugs (Corythucha), and the grass lace bug (Leptodictya). These bugs are typically flattened, rectangular in shape and about 1/8 to 1/4 inches long. Also, the area behind their head and wings is covered with a lace-like covering as per their name.

These tiny pests attack ornamental trees, shrubs and even grasses in some cases. Imagining them as tiny vampires may bring to mind the type of damage they can cause to your landscape. The adult and nymph (-the immature form of an insect) lace bugs both use their piercing mouths to suck the sap out of plants, essentially draining them of vigor, beauty and the ability to produce food. This weakened state also makes the plant vulnerable to other insect attacks or plant diseases.

lace bug

Via UGA Extension Publication B1102 – Azalea lace bug,Stephanitis pyrioides, adults. Photo: Shaku Nair, University of Georgia

grass bug

Via UGA Extension Publication B1102 – Grass lace bug,Leptodictya plana, adult. Photo: Kris Braman, University of Georgia

Lace Bug Damage

According to the UGA Extension Office, “Lace bugs also attack a wide range of deciduous trees and shrubs. Plants found in the Georgia landscape that are commonly infested include hawthorn, cotoneaster, quince, American elm, apple, sycamore, oak and cherry. Recently, significant lace bug damage was observed on ornamental grasses, which are common in southern U.S. landscapes.” -pub. B1102

damage bug

Via UGA Extension Publication B1102 – Frass spots and cast skins help identify lace bug damage. Photo: Shaku Nair, University of Georgia

Steps for Prevention & Control

  • Check for lace bug eggs, newly hatched nymphs and adults every season (especially spring) by checking any susceptible plants in your yard (refer to the list above of commonly targeted plants/trees).
  • Be aware of natural predators of lace bugs in your yard. The mymarid wasp, for example, can usually keep your lace bug population in check.
  • Initiate a chemical control program if you have an infestation problem occurring.
  • ‘Wash’ off lace bugs from ornamental plants with a strong stream of water your outdoor hose.
  • Protect against lace bugs with repeated applications of insecticidal soaps and/or horticultural oils.

 

All Turf Lawn Care hopes that this short guide to lace bugs will be helpful to you in the future! Also, if your residence or business needs lawn care, lawn maintenance, weed control or other landscape services, please contact us soon to schedule an appointment!
Don’t forget to ask for a FREE lawn care estimate from All Turf too!