When one thinks of lace, one usually thinks of the white, delicate patterns of a wedding dress or maybe an ivory holiday tablecloth.
What one doesn’t think about is the intricate network of divided areas on a certain insect’s wings. Unfortunately, a lace bug’s particular brand of lace does not add to the landscape the same way lace adds additional beauty to a dinner table or a bride’s ensemble. In fact, lace bugs tend to drain the life—literally—out of the leaves of some of your favorite plants, mainly azaleas and rhododendrons, leaving them almost empty with a bronzed or silvery appearance instead of their normal happy, healthy emerald green with vibrant, boastful blooms.
The lace bug is one of Atlanta’s biggest summer pests. But it doesn’t stand alone. Aphids that cover our beloved crepe myrtles and cherished roses also put a damper on some of summer’s most gorgeous blooms. Also known as plant lice, these tiny pests are persistent, leaving behind a sugary excretion that causes a black sooty mold on the leaves, transforming summer bloomers from fab to drab.
Let’s take a closer look at these two summer pests that are plaguing Atlanta commercial properties.
Lace bug is a major pest of azaleas in Georgia. With highly sculptured wings that give them a lacy appearance and dark markings on their backs and wings, these insects are hard to spot when they are on azalea leaves. And boy do lace bugs get hungry.
Spotting Lace Bug Damage
Lace bugs use their needle-like mouths to suck plant sap from leaves, causing them to pale and turn grayish. Severe feeding leads to white leaves that start dropping from the plants early.
Unfortunately, because these tricky pests feed on the underside of leaves, they are hard to spot until damage is already starting to show.
As soon as crepe myrtle and rose leaves unfurl, HighGrove Partners’ commercial lawn care crews start to look for aphids. The pests are no bigger than grains of rice, and they feed off of plant sap. Controlling them early means controlling the sugary substance called honeydew that they excrete as they feed on plant leaves, resulting in a black sooty mold that makes leaves look unattractive. Not to mention, this sugary substance also draws other insects to the feeding party, including ants and wasps.
Spotting Aphid Damage
The worst aphid infestations can even cause leaves to yellow and reduce blooms—something no commercial property manager wants in the summer when blooms are the expected visual delight.
HighGrove: Your Summer Pest Control Experts
Both lace bugs and aphids are out there now—many started to cause damage as early as May. What stops them in their tracks? On properties that are susceptible, an early spring pre-treatment of insecticide can keep pest populations at bay, in addition to regular inspections and targeted post-treatments after they’ve been spotted.
HighGrove Partners employs experienced professionals who know what to look for when it comes to these common Atlanta pests. Have pest problems and questions on your Atlanta commercial property? Give us a call at 678-298-0550 or use our simple contact form.