19 Jan Azalea Lace Bug
This pest is more easily identified by the damage it causes than the insect itself. The adults are roughly 5mm long with black/brown bodies and feature shiny, lace-like wings. The juveniles are spiny looking grubs of a similar colour to the adults but generally go unnoticed.
Damaged leaves show a silver/grey mottling on the upper surface of the leaf and dark brown/black spots on the underside. Adults can sometimes be seen flying from bushes that are disturbed.
Lace bugs are a major pest of Azaleas and one that should be controlled to maintain the aesthetic value of the plant.
Green: Botanical oils (eg. Eco-Oil) sprayed at regular intervals from spring through the warmer months will prevent attacks on plants with minimal effect on beneficial insects.
NB Do not apply oil sprays in temperatures exceeding 25°C as this will likely burn foliage.
Orange: Systemic insecticides such as Confidor or Maxguard will provide effective control of these pests and can be started at the first sign of damage. Each spray will give a minimum fortnight of protection. Do not spray when bees are actively foraging.
Red: Not required for this pest.