Azalea Lace Bug

Q:
What is the cheapest action to take in a housing association that has over 500 azaleas infested with the azalea lace bug? They are already hatching out and moving to our rhodies. We decided to remove them and replant something that is not bothered by these or many other insects. Should we have tried something else first? Our budget committee is questioning our decision. - Washington County, Oregon
A:

Thank you for your question to Ask an Expert.

The azalea lace bug is certainly destructive and treatments for the insect will be expensive over time and the azaleas will likely not look very good in the short term. The chemical treatments for this pest are also broad spectrum and will also kill beneficial insects that might eat the lace bug. This is a tough pest to control.

Thus, I think that the decision to remove the azaleas and replant is both financially prudent and environmentally sensitive.

Please let me know if you have further questions.

Weston

Weston Miller
Community and Urban Horticulture Faculty
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