Adult feeding and black frass

Azalea lace bugs are common sucking insects that occur on many trees and shrubs, injuring foliage and detracting from the plants’ beauty; high numbers of lace bugs cause plant stress or even death.

This introduced pest, native to Japan, was first detected in New Jersey in 1915. It spread quickly to other mid-Atlantic and southeastern states. S. pyrioides was confirmed in 2008 in Washington State and 2009 in Oregon.

Azalea lace bugs feed on both evergreen and deciduous azaleas and rhododendrons. Damage on rhododendrons appears to be more severe than the damage reported from rhododendron lace bug (S. rhododendri).

Photo credits: Tracy Wootten, University of Delaware; Jason Sharman, Vitalitree; Pest and Diseases Image Library; Jim Baker, North Carolina State University | Bugwood.org