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Pieris lacebug originates from Japan and was first detected in Britain in a garden near Windsor in 1998. Since then it has become widespread in England, where it can damage the foliage of Pieris and some rhododendrons. It is sometimes called the andromeda lacebug.
Pieris lacebug is a small (3-4mm long) sap-sucking insect with wings marked with a lace-like pattern. It can be responsible for causing pale mottling most notably on the leaves of Pieris and Rhododendron.
Look out for the following symptoms of pieris lacebug on Pieris and Rhododendron;
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.
Pesticides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining pesticides available to gardeners)
Pieris lacebug overwinters as eggs that are inserted into the leaf veins but adult insects can persist on the foliage until mid-winter.
The eggs hatch in May and the nymphs initially cluster together on the underside of leaves. They later disperse and reach the adult stage by mid to late summer.
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