Look out for the following symptoms of pieris lacebug on Pieris and Rhododendron;
- The foliage develops a coarse pale mottling on the upper surface and by late summer the leaves can have a bleached whitish yellow appearance
- Heavy attacks may cause leaf drop on Pieris
- The underside of affected leaves is discoloured with brown excrement spots
- Adults, nymphs and cast skins may be seen on the lower leaf surface
- The adults are black insects, 3mm long, with wings that are held flat over the insect’s body. The wings are transparent with a broad black X-shaped marking
- The nymphs are wingless and have spiny blackish brown bodies
Note that rhododendrons can also be attacked by the rhododendron lacebug, Stephanitis rhododendri. This causes similar damage but is much less common than pieris lacebug and does not attack Pieris. Rhododendron lacebug has wings that are only faintly marked with a darker line across the wings near the base.