Lacebugs are small (about 3mm) brownish coloured bugs. They have a net-like covering on their heads and wings.Â
Lacebug (left), Lacebug nymphs (right)-University of Florida Institute of Food & Agricultural Science
They are a beautiful looking bugs but they are plant eaters. Nymphs are smaller and covered with hair.
Avodado Lace Bug Eggs-Adrian Hunsberger, University of Florida
Habitat and Lifecycle
There are over 1500 different species found worldwide. Their names relate to the plant they attack. (ie: Azalea Lacebugs) Most species overwinter as adults under the host plants in leaf litter or moss. They lay their eggs in early summer on undersides of leaves. Nymphs hatch an start feeding on the leaves. Adult appear in late summer. Look for the pest in the sunny areas as they tend to stay away from shadier sites in your gardens. There are 1-4 generations per year.
Damage on azalea-University of Florida Institute of Food & Agricultural Science
Diet and Damage
Strawberries, grapes, fruit trees, azaleas, rhodos, pieris, hawthorns, ivy, thistles, many flowers and ornamentals. They are often found in the company of aphids as lacebugs are sucking insects as well. Little white bumps appear on leaves from their sucking. It will cause deformities and leaves will drop prematurely.
1) Sticky Traps
Place sticky traps near host plants and it will also catch aphids.
2) Hand Pick
Look for the adults in the winter in amongst leaves and debris under host plants.
3) Clean up Garden Debris
Make sure garden debris is cleaned up in the fall.
4) Soap Sprays
A few drops of soap in water and blasted underneath the leaves or insecticidal soap.
5) Natural Preditors
Lacewings and Assassin Bugs