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Azalea Lace Bug (Stephanitis pyroides)

Adult azalea lace bug on a leafAzalea lace bug eggs embedded in a leaf

Adults are 1/8 inch long. The transparent wings are held flat on the back. Their wings are lacy with two grayish-brown cross-bands connected in the middle. Nymphs are mostly black and spiny. The flask-shaped eggs are partially embedded in leaf tissue and often are covered with a black tar-like secretion. There are four generations a year. Eggs overwinter in leaf tissue. Lace bug adults and nymphs live and feed on the underside of leaves.

Look for the first signs of damage on plants in full sun or in protected areas beginning in March and continuing throughout the summer. Look for white stippling on older leaves. Turn stippled leaves over to find lace bug stages and black fecal spots. Examine lace bug eggs with a hand lens for signs of parasitism (a round hole in the top of the egg) and look for predators.

Time insecticide applications for the presence of the first generation nymphs