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lace bugs

Lace Bugs, Aphids, Oh My!

Your trees and shrubs face many challenges to remain healthy year-round. Environmental conditions, disease, fungus and insects can threaten the health of your plants. Some common insects found on trees and shrubs in our area this time of year include lace bugs and aphids. But proper identification, and preventative and curative treatments can protect your landscape investment. Let's dive deeper.

Lace Bugs

Lace bugs are common pests found on azaleas, rhododendrons, sycamore, broad-leaved evergreens and many deciduous trees and shrubs. Though in small numbers they cause no real harm, they can be a major problem when present in high numbers.

Lace bugs are about 1/8 of an inch long, bronze in color and have transparent wings held flat on their backs. Nymphs are black. Both adults and nymphs are always found on the underside of leaves of infected shrubs and cause damage by sucking the chlorophyll from the plant. Their damage causes the leaves to be bleached or bronzed instead of green and causes the plants to poorly grow or bloom.

Lace bug on the  underside of leaves
Lace bug on the underside of leaves

Lace bugs  on azalea leaves
Lace bugs on azalea leaves


Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that attack plants by using a piercing and sucking mouthpart to suck "juices" from the plant. They tend to congregate on the new growth and underside of leaves where they will grow in large numbers over time. Aphids may be winged or wingless, measure 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long and can be green, yellow, orange, red, black or white in color.

Aphids excrete a sweet, sticky honeydew which attracts ants and can cause sooty mold to develop. They are commonly found on roses, crepe myrtles, viburnums, euonymus, hawthorns and pines, just to name a few.

Aphids on the underside of leaves
Aphids on the underside of leaves
Aphids on holly
Aphids on holly

Proper Care

Scale and aphids, among other insects, can not only be a nuisance, but can cause damage to your plants. Professional Tree & Shrub Care is an important service to ensure healthy plants and blooms. Our program offers preventative and curative insect and disease control and appropriately timed nutrients for a beautiful landscape.

For more information about caring for your lawn under drought stress conditions, please contact us. We're here to help.

Photo credit: UGA