Pieris Lace Bug
Pieris Lace Bug, Andromeda Lace bug
Pieris Lacebug is relatively new to Britain, only arriving just over twenty years ago. They are a pest of plants within the Pieris genus, hence their names. They belong to a small family of true bugs known as lace bugs, containing just over 2,000 species. They're called this because of the intricate network of transparent panels that make up the wings. The feeding activity of S. takeyai results in leaf mottling in Pieris. Heavier infestations can cause premature leaf drops and ultimately will stunt growth.
Feeding activity produces mottled markings on the leaves of Pieris plants.
These insects are small, only reaching 3mm. Adults possess wings that are characteristic of lace bugs. These appear like black and white lace. The frames shimmer gold when the light shines on them. The antennae are long in relation to the body, also looking gold under the light. Nymphs are smaller again. They're wingless too. They're brownish-black and have spines covering the body.
These bugs will cause leaves to become mottled following feeding behaviour. Black excrement, known as frass, may be evident on the underside of leaves. They can sometimes cause premature leaf fall in plants.
These insects originate from Japan. They're now present in mainland Europe and the UK.
Lighter infestations may be tolerable. Branches that undergo heavy infestation may be pruned following flower.
Chemicals should be applied early summer when the nymphs are present. These are much more susceptible to chemicals that matured adults. There are chemical alternatives available for home use, and these vary in the degree of persistence and strength. These include organic sprays (containing natural pyrethrums); winter washes ( these contain natural plant oils and are particularly good for vines); and lastly, the more persistent chemicals (containing synthetic pyrethroids). Please consider if chemical control is necessary. If a chemical option is sought, check with your local garden centre and please take care to follow the manufacturers' instructions. Check with your local regulating body for guidance on active ingredients and their authorisation for use. Plants that are in flower should not be sprayed due to the danger they pose to pollinators.