Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pest Alert for April 30th

Azalea Lace Bugs and Hawthorn Lace Bugs Azalea lace bugs (Stephanitis pyrioides) are one of the most damaging pests of evergreen azaleas. They overwinter as eggs in azalea leaves and begin hatching around now. Control is best targeted early in the season when nymphs are present for two reasons. First, nymphs are easier to kill than adults and if you kill nymphs before they mature and lay eggs you have a better chance of clearing up the infestation. Second, the longer azalea lace bugs are on your plant the more damage they do. On evergreen azaleas this damage sticks around for a long time so plants may be permanently damaged. So scout your azaleas and get those lace bugs cleared up before damage occurs. They have been active for a few weeks now. We first sent out a Twitter alert three weeks ago before North Carolina Pest News started for the year. The other lace bug we found to be active this week is the hawthorn lace bug on cotoneaster. This is very damaging to one of the most common landscape plants. Again the damage is stippling and discoloration as for azalea lace bugs and control measures are the same. More pictures on our blog ECO IPM. For more information and control options consult: Control. For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.