Azalea Lace Bug
- Adult with lacey wings, 1/8"
- Feed from underside of leaves
- Upper leaf surface white stippling to splotchy
- Underside leaf surface with black fly-speck-like fecal spots
- Adults and spiny nymphs on underside of leaf
- Overwinters as egg within leaf at leaf vein
- Eggs hatch begins early Spring
*Reduce stress of plant
*Spray underside of leaves with malathion, pyrethroid or use imidacloprid systemic
Deciduous azaleas are less susceptible to severe lace bug damage.
Alternative plant suggestions- abelia, barberry, loropetalum, nandina & others.
Southern Red Mite
- Discoloration noted during Summer or Winter
- Flattened oval eggs or clear egg shells present in Summer and Winter with center thread
- Mites almost black body with pale yellow-brown legs
- Eggs laid underside of leaves
- Use 10X hand lens to check
*Horticultural oil, Floramite, Hexygon, sprayed in cool season while mites active. Follow-up sprays may be required with oil.
- Defoliation or chewed leaves with remaining veins. Feed in groups when small.
- Caterpillar 0.5-1.5 inches, reddish to brown-black with yellow to orange stripes, red head
- Caterpillars with "U" posture when disturbed
- Most damage August-September
* Knock caterpillar groups to ground and crush *Carbaryl, acephate or cyfluthrin pesticides.
Azalea Bark Scale
- Felted or waxy thread egg sac cover scale
- Black sooty-mold fungus often a problem
- Females found on crotches and twigs
- Plants chlorotic and "unthrifty"
- Dieback may occur
- Eggs laid in April, crawlers hatch late spring
- Overwinter as nymphs feeding on bark
* Horticultural oil during late-spring crawler stage or Fall nymph stage. Repeat treatment 14 days later.
- Waxy-white moth-like adults 1-2mm
- Pupal case oval, flat, orange-yellow
- Black sooty-mold fungus often present
- "Clouds" of whiteflies may launch when disturbed
- Overwinter as nymphs on leaves; adults emerge early spring
*Wash away with water hose
*Ignore in low numbers
*Kontos or imidacloprid
- Small, soft-bodied insects
- Often found at growing tips of plant
- Explosive reproductive capacity
- Long antennae and small "horns" at rear
*Wash away with water hose
*Hort oil, insecticidal soap or many other chemicals are effective
Azalea Stem Borer
- Slender long horned beetles
- Slender yellow, legless grub found inside stem
- Infested twigs wilt and die or break off
- Adults emerge May-June
- Eggs inserted in bark between two rows of holes 1/2 inch apart. Expelled frass sometimes evident.
- Larvae bore down into roots for winter
*Protective bole and base sprays in spring with Astro or Onyx.
* Astro or Onyx foliar sprays in early spring for foliage feeding damage
- Uncommon, armored grayish-brown scale 2.5mm, long oystershell-like
- Somewhat burrows below bark
- Stems may die back
- One generation; crawlers present in May
* Horticultural oil during crawler stages with follow up at 14 days
- Yellow, leaf-mining caterpillar, 10-13mm
- Brown blisters on leaf surface when larva small
- Larger larvae emerge to roll leaf tip. Leaves turn yellow, then drop
- Not commonly a problem outdoors. Worst on greenhouse cuttings.
*Orthene, Conserve, Azadirachtin helpful control. Timing important
Azalea Plant Bug
- Beneficial predator of azalea lace bug, red color as a nymph
- Has been used in releases. Insecticidal soaps are preferred treatment for other pests when used in the presence of this beneficial
- Unfortunately, azalea plant bugs also bite people
Voles are not arthropods, but they enjoy the same habitat as azaleas and can be a problem destroying stems and roots below ground. Control is sometimes desired.
- Common name: azalea leafminer, scientific name: Caloptilia azaleella (Brants) (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae). Dekle, G. W. 2016 (reviewed). Featured Creatures. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry Publication Number: EENY-379.
- Insect and Related Pests of Shrubs. Baker, J. R. 1993. NC Cooperative Extension Service publication AG-189. 199 pp.
- Insect Pests of Azaleas and Camellias and Their Control. English, L. L. and G. F. Turnipseed. 1940. Agr. Experiment Station, Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Circ. 84. 18 pp.
- Observations and Notes on the Azalea Plant Bug, Rhinocapsus vanduzeel (sic) Uhler. Stewart C. and S. K. Braman. 1999. December. The Azalean: 73-74.
- Rhinocapsus vanduzeei Uhler, A Little Known Pest of Azaleas. Miller, III, W. C. 1993. The Azalean/September 1993. 58-59.
- Voles in Turf. Brandenburg, R. 2017. NC State Extension Publications, TurfFiles. https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/voles-in-turf
- Extension Plant Pathology Publications and Factsheets
- Horticultural Science Publications
- North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual
For assistance with a specific problem, contact your local N.C. Cooperative Extension Center
Publication date: May 16, 2018
Revised: Aug. 29, 2019
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